Do Shareholder Rights Matter to Obama?

April 07, 2009 - by: Dan Oswald 11 COMMENTS

I was amazed when I first learned that the Obama administration had requested the resignation of GM CEO Rick Wagoner. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I became dismayed.

Did Rick Wagoner deserve to lose his job? I don’t know. But I do know that it is not the role of government to call for the job of the chief executive of a public company. Public companies are typically run by an executive. That executive is hired by and answers to a board of directors. The board of directors is elected by the shareholders, and the board is responsible for ensuring that the company is run in the best interests of the shareholder owners. Nowhere in this chain of command do I see the federal government!

I can hear people screaming now, “But GM was asking for a bailout from the Federal government. That gives them the right to pick the CEO.” I disagree. The shareholders are still the owners of GM, and they should get to pick who runs their company. The government can choose whether or not the company is deserving of the bailout based on a number of factors including who is running the company. But when they force the resignation of the chief executive, they’re taking away the power and authority of the current owners, and that’s not right.

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An Executive’s Thoughts on Executive Pay

April 02, 2009 - by: Dan Oswald 0 COMMENTS

Imagine for a moment that you own a company. Unfortunately, your company, like many companies recently, has experienced some problems that have put its mere survival in question. You’ve taken action, removed the employees who were responsible for creating most of the problems, and even brought in a new senior executive — a seasoned industry veteran with a successful track record — who you think can help clean up the mess and put your company back on the path to success.

Your new CEO has even agreed to work without salary for the first year or more, until you get the company back on its feet. If he succeeds, you promise to give him a small ownership stake in the enterprise. He’s made some progress, but the company is not out of the woods yet as he continues to unwind the issues created by his predecessors and attempts to overcome some of the obligations he has been saddled with.

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Insights from the C-Suite

March 27, 2009 - by: Dan Oswald 0 COMMENTS

I’m Dan Oswald, president and publisher of M. Lee Smith Publishers, and the newest blogger on the Employment Law Post.┬áMy first posts appeared on the Human Resources News blog. Here’s a list of those posts.

The Time for Bold Action

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