June 16, 2014

Food for Thought: How Do US Presidents Differ from CEOs?

Temple Professor Tom Lin recently published an article examining executive power and “corporate democracy,” which is a loaded term for some in our profession. Below is the abstract:

This Article deciphers a long-standing paradigm of power — the President as CEO — and offers an original and better legal understanding of executive governance. This Article presents the first sustained, comparative study of CEOs and presidents, the theoretical ties that bind them in the popular imagination of law and society, and the practical truths that sever their bonds in the real world of politics and business. It argues that this overused but understudied construct of law and society illuminates these two chief executives, but also obscures and distorts them with dangerous consequences. This Article suggests that in better understanding the laws and powers of those who lead and govern, we can learn better ways to be led and governed, as shareholders and citizens alike.

This Article begins with a normative and historical analysis that challenges conventional comprehensions of the President as CEO paradigm. It then charts the parallel promises and perils of power shared by CEOs and presidents. Drawing from constitutional law, corporate law, and organizational theory, it explains how promises of unity, accountability, and effectiveness converge with perils of capture, deference, overconfidence, and aggrandizement. Next, this Article highlights critical divergences between CEOs and presidents in connection with their elections, objectives, and constituents. Because of these divergences, it argues that popular movements to conflate presidents and democracy with CEOs and corporations can undermine American democracy and American corporations. Instead of quixotic conflations, this Article calls for deeper comparative examinations of these chief executives as a way to unlock new insights into corporate democracy, corporate purpose, government privatization, and executive power.

Thanks for the Gumball Mickey: Gibson Dunn, Washington DC

Excited to get the good people at Gibson Dunn in DC involved in the “Gumball Madness” in this 20-second video:

Printed: Popular “Romeo & Dye Forms & Filings Handbook”

Good news. Alan Dye has completed the 2014 edition of the popular “Section 16 Forms & Filings Handbook,” with numerous new – and critical – samples included among the thousands of pages of samples. Remember that a new version of the Handbook comes along every 4 years or so – so those with the last edition have one that is dated. The last edition came out in 2009.

Act Now: If you don’t try a ’14 no-risk trial to the “Romeo & Dye Section 16 Annual Service,” we will not be able to mail this invaluable resource to you now that it’s done being printed. The Annual Service includes a copy of this new Handbook, as well as the annual Deskbook and Quarterly Updates.

– Broc Romanek