Voici un cas de gouvernance, publié en mai 2017 sur le site de Julie Garland McLellan* qui présente une situation dans laquelle le président du conseil d’une société publique se place en porte-à-faux avec les membres de son conseil, et éventuellement avec les actionnaires.
Les administrateurs ont été à l’écoute des principaux actionnaires en mettant en place une procédure acceptable pour les deux parties. Cependant, Oliver constate que le processus adopté a pour effet de décourager certains candidats.
De plus, il semble que le président du conseil a sa petite idée sur le choix du candidat que le conseil devrait promouvoir. Il invoque également le fait que, comme président du comité des ressources humaines, il aura le dernier mot !
Le cas présente la situation de manière assez succincte, mais explicite ; puis, trois experts en gouvernance se prononcent sur le dilemme qui se présente aux personnes qui vivent des situations similaires. Je vous invite donc à lire ces opinions en allant sur le site de Julie.
Bonne lecture ! Vos commentaires sont toujours les bienvenus.
Our case study this month looks at a listed company that has inadvertently triggered a power struggle between its chair and its shareholders.
Oliver is a board member and audit committee chair of a medium sized listed company; he also sits on the nominations and remuneration committee which is chaired by the board Chairman. Some of the larger shareholders complained after the last board renewal that they had not been given any chance to influence the selection criteria or, as one director stood for one vacancy, any real choice.
The board took these complaints seriously and when looking to recruit another new director they engaged with these shareholders to agree selection criteria, appointment of a consultant to help the board source from a wider pool of potential applicants, and a process. It was agreed that the board would put two candidates to the AGM so that shareholders had a meaningful choice and only the candidate with the most votes would be appointed. This strategy was not popular with the applicants and several withdrew because they felt it would harm their reputations to stand for, and then fail to gain, a competitive board election.
However, the process continued and the board now has two excellent candidates who are willing to give the shareholders a choice at the AGM. The Chairman is very keen on one of the applicants and less keen on the other. He has asked the board to put forward only his preferred candidate as “the chair should have the final say on composition of his board”. The board meeting discussion got quite heated and the Chairman stamped out of the room in a fit of temper.
Oliver’s colleagues are looking to him, as the longest serving director, to lead the board out of this mess.
How should he start?