The Decline of the Chairman/CEO Role

line graph showing the decline of the Chairmen/CEO role in the United States

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In these strange times, BoardEx has taken a moment to analyze data surrounding a topic that’s important now and still will be when the markets rebound — the joint chairman/CEO role. As the coronavirus outbreak continues to hammer public and private companies, we at BoardEx have looked at how the prevalence of the chairman/CEO role has changed since the last financial crisis in 2008. BoardEx looked at all publicly traded companies in the U.S. between 2008 and now, measuring what percentages of companies had dual chairman/CEO roles. The result? The role is steadily declining in popularity. This decline suggests that corporate governance best practices are increasingly being followed, as corporate governance experts prefer the two roles be separated. Additionally, BoardEx data revealed that the highest numbers of chairman/CEOs are in the largest companies. For instance, the concentration of chairman/CEOs in the S&P 500 is 45%, whereas that number comes in at 33.5% at all U.S. public companies in the aggregate. The number is also high for CEOs who have been at the company since its IPO. To that end, we leave you with two statistics. On one hand, 89 S&P 500 companies that have separated the role of chairman and CEO since 2015. However, also since 2015, there have been 104 companies that have combined the 2 roles. Follow Alexandra Garfinkle on Twitter and LinkedIn. Data analysis completed by Alex Architektonidis, follow him on LinkedIn.

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