The controversy surrounding Sir Stuart Green's stewardship of Marks & Spenser by combining the Chief Executive and Chairman role has resurfaced once again with shareholders up in arms that so much power resides with one man. They are right to be agrieved that anyone, however good, believes they alone can be relied upon to deliver superior returns for shareholders.
Any good CEO needs a good chairman - the two roles are different and necessary. Even small SMEs can benefit from the perspective an external chairman or mentor can bring to the company. It is widely recognised that a CEO can perform even better with a sounding board for his or her ideas. I would be with Sir Stuart in resisting having an executive chairman on board. Anyone full time in the role is simply going to get in the way operationally and loses that all important external perspective.
Similarly, I am not a fan of joint roles and responsibilities, which just serves to be divisive and confusing to other staff. If you have functional heads accountable for the performance of the company in that area then that focus is beneficial and good. Everyone needs to be part of the team, but in the end someone needs to do something to move things forwards in specific areas. I do hope that Sir Stuart is a good delegator because doing the work of two people (as soon as you can afford not to) ain't a smart move in business, however good you are.
Liz is promoted to Partner
1 day ago