The decision of the General Motors Board of Directors to name Mary Barra as chairman as well as chief executive officer is a mistake, according to the leader of the hedge fund who pressured GM into approving a multi-billion dollar stock repurchase program last year.
“I think Mary has done a terrific job. But if you wanted to promote her, give her a raise,” said Harry Wilson, chairman and CEO of the MAEVA Group LLC, who noted that the broader trend is to separate the CEO job from the chairmanship because the two roles are, or should be, quite different.
Barra was named chairman of the GM board last week. Except for short periods of time, the roles of chairman and chief executive have been combined ever since the retirement in 1956 of the company’s legendary chairman Alfred P. Sloan. Sloan himself served as both chairman and CEO for more than two decades. (more…)