The Motley Fool does a great series of podcasts–I’ve listened in recent months to interviews with James Fallows, John Mackey and Simon Johnson–and the other day I heard my friend Nell Minow of The Corporate Library talking about executive pay, boards of directors and her second life as Beliefnet’s Movie Mom.
Nell was asked who she would choose to dismiss as a CEO, if she had the power to do so. Her surprising answer: Tom Donahue, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“He’s a terrible CEO,” she said, with her typical bluntness. “I think he is a virulent force in the field of business and corporations. I think he has hijacked capitalism on behalf of executives rather than investors.”
Why? It turns out that Donahue has served as a director of three public companies, all of which have had problems.
He’s a director of Sunrise Senior Living, which suffered from series of accounting problems, a plummeting stock price and a decision to settle shareholder litigation. Two well-respected governance groups, Risk Metrics and Proxy Governance, recommended that Donahue be voted off the board for “failing in is oversight duties,” according to Bloomberg News. [click to continue…]