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Open Chair

By - May 11, 2005

SFGate notes that Google’s Chairman role has been open for 13 months, and raises again the issue of how the company is governed.

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2 thoughts on “Open Chair

  1. fred says:

    I’d vote for you John.

    You are already providing the critical role of analysis and oversight.

  2. Doug Mehus says:

    I have been most concerned about this (and the dual-class voting structure) for some time now. Although I currently own no shares in any companies, I’m a bit of a corporate governance policy wonk and believe that an independent non-executive Chair is what every publicly-traded company needs for its Board of Directors. Sure, they can have a Lead Director that is not necessarily independent and speaks for the rest of the directors; however, as the Chair is often the proxy who casts the ballots made by shareholders who choose to vote absentee (that is, voting by means other than in-person at the AGM), as the Chair (often) has the power to call meetings of the Board, and as the Chair has certain other special duties, this is necessary to create a sense of independence and investor confidence, not to mention optimism about the company.

    But to go without a Chair, at such a large company like Google, seems almost worse than having the CEO take on the Chair role, as well. In fact, if it meant the role of Chair gets filled, I’d rather see Eric Schmidt back in that position than see it empty.

    Nonetheless, I am glad someone besides me is noticing this. Thank you, John.