The Chair/CEO Relationship

A complex marriage that can stand the test of time

The Chair / CEO relationship is widely considered to be one of the most significant, if not the most significant, in any organisation. As such, it has attracted a formidable reputation and even mystique. Working well, it’s regarded as a powerful and transformative alliance: an inner sanctum in which the most dangerous and intractable problems are considered, dismantled and resolved, and in which there is a level of understanding unrivalled by other alliances in the organisation.

GatenbySanderson asked 70 leaders – both chairs and chief executives – what, in their experience, they had learned about this relationship. This paper is what they said.

Pat Armstrong said:

The “is it relationship or is it governance?” question and the importance of clarifying the role and the relationship at the outset are key.

70 leaders (Chairs and CEO’s) views are taken into account so this piece has a sound base – but it would be good to know percentage of each.  Definitely worth a read at whatever stage of the chair / chief officer relationship you are at.