A leading figure on executive compensation, Graef Crystal, sees problems with the implementation of CalPERS’ corporate governance reforms as detailed in this Bloomberg opinion piece. It would appear that the disconnect between the board of the giant pension fund – which is known widely to push hard for progressive reforms in corporate America – and its staff is wider than is well understood.
That means, of course, that the departure (ouster?) of both the the CEO and CIO of the fund represents an excellent opportunity for the fund to align its values with its policies by picking, first, the right CEO and then working with that CEO to pick the right CIO.
Unfortunately, CalPERS does not seem to have been well prepared for the departure of their two top officers and have now named an “interim” CEO while a search continues. Not a good sign that there is clear understanding on the board of what it will take to “right the ship.” Unfortunately for the board public scrutiny is on the rise and it may not be long before the legislature gets involved. Strange that an entity of this size and sophistication did not have a succession plan in place for its C-level execs…that’s SOP in corporate America today, but it is something I have seen on several occasions is missing in the non profit world – at the Getty and Gates Foundations, for example, and at the Screen Actors Guild.