VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow, writing with Allan Grafman in Directors and Boards, says it is time for GE to have an independent board chair.
At April’s annual meeting, General Electric’s leadership got an earful from retirees, employees and shareholders about the company’s financial woes, with one investor calling the once preeminent Blue Chip company an “embarrassment.”
GE’s unlikely mix of assets and operations was assembled and managed for decades under a board structure led by two successive chairmen/CEOs. But that structure, although successful once upon a time, has now led to massive wealth destruction in a matter of months.
With such a significant change in performance, has the time come to split up the two jobs – a strategy seen as the kind of independent oversight necessary to signal to employees, investors, customers and suppliers that every possible option is being evaluated?