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May 31, 2006

Governance: breaking the board apart

US companies are separating their top responsibilities at a faster rate than ever before, with shareholder activists often fueling changes

In March, shareholder activists once again filed a proxy proposal asking Pfizer to split the roles of CEO and chairman of the board. Charles Raeburn, Pfizer’s senior corporate counsel, says a similar proposal garnered 41 percent of the shareholder vote last year, and this spring ‘it’s conceivable that it will attract an even higher vote.’ The notion of having a chairman who does not also fill the role of chief executive is steadily gaining traction in the US. High-profile

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