Nell Minow, a founder of the Corporate Library, which rates the performance of boards, said “high turnover at the sub-C.E.O. level is always a risk factor.”
... But she also said that Mr. Alvarez’s chronic health condition, although not life-threatening, should have made the board wary of promoting him to such a position in the first place, given McDonald’s recent history.
“It’s an important part of the C.E.O. succession planning process that you have to have a very frank conversation about health issues,” Ms. Minow said. “Somebody was not asking the right questions there.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Update: January 1, 2010
Ms. Minow has responded with a comment to this post:
I appreciate the post, but you misunderstood my comment. I have disabled family members and my family has worked for and written about the rights of the disabled. This is not about disability; it is about the obligation of boards of directors to have a frank and candid conversation about elements related to succession planning for key corporate officers. I understand why that distinction may not have been clear from the brief excerpt of my comments included in the article, but before you assume the worst you might want to consider looking a bit further.
I'm not sure how responsive this comment is to the concerns raised in the initial post, but we very much appreciate the feedback.