80% of Finance Executives Say CEO and Chairmanship Should be Separate

October 31, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nearly 80% of chief financial officers and senior comptrollers at companies said the roles of chairman and chief executive officer should be held by two different people, a recent survey by Grant Thornton found.

Three-quarters of survey respondents also said that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should make changes to its 8-K rules that require companies to give a current report announcing major events that shareholders should know about.

Particularly, the respondents said,  the 8-K rules should include a provision that requires reasons to be provided for all company dismissals to auditors, for all auditor resignations and for all instances in which the auditor chooses not to stand for reappointment.

Other findings of the corporate governance survey include:

  • 66.6% of executives say shareholders in public companies should have greater access to the proxy statement.
  • 68% said that small cap companies who test internal controls (according to Sarbanes-Oxley) will be looked upon more favorably by investors than those who do not test internal controls.
  • 43% said they consider the newly issued guidance from the SEC on internal controls and the new audit standard for auditing internal controls to be a significant improvement over previous rules.