There’s considerable debate these days on whether the roles of chairman and CEO should be separated in publicly held companies. I’ve reviewed hundreds, if not thousands of failed and problem banks – both as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and as a consultant since leaving the FDIC. I have also served for the past three years as nonexecutive chairman of Fifth Third Bancorp. These experiences have given me a unique perspective on the chairman/CEO issue and on corporate governance generally.
The first observation I offer is that much of the debate about the chairman/CEO issue is misdirected, trivialized and too emotional. Unfortunately, any discussion or consideration of the issue is too often taken as a personal affront to the CEO involved.Posted: May 17, 2013