Diligent Board Member Services has just announced the appointment of former McKinsey partner Brian Stafford as chief executive. Stafford takes over from outgoing chief Alex Sodi, "who will become chief product strategy officer and remain on the board". This second part of the announcement caught me by surprise and, quite frankly, confused me.
I'm not sure I'd want to be in Stafford's shoes just now. The former chief executive is now both his boss (a director) and one of his staff. Consequently, the moral ownership of strategy implementation, and of product strategy in particular, is unclear to say the least. Why the Diligent board chose to structure the company in this way, and why Stafford agreed to the appointment given the challenges of 'above-and-below' reporting is beyond me. I can't see how this sort of anomaly is conducive to a high trust and high performance work environment.
Perhaps a 'better' approach might have been for Sodi to perform one or other of the two roles (director or strategy office), or to leave the company. If any readers have any insights as to why Diligent made these decisions, or how the new structure might add value to the business, I would love to hear them!
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.