A Better Organization for Our Country

A forthcoming shareholder voting at Weyerhaeuser Company

Capitalism is duly credited for the prosperity of the developed countries. It is also recognized that big business, that is becoming bigger and more influential politically with the advent of economic globalization, is responsible for some serious societal ills. A number of the follow-up projects listed in Chapter 29 of A Better Organization reflect on this dichotomy, one of them titled Analogies in governance of a country and a publicly traded corporation.

One and the same person being in the positions of the chief executive officer and the chair of the board of directors, is an odd corporate phenomenon in North America. It is odd because the board is to represent the interests of shareholders, and its primary function is to direct and oversee the corporation's management on behalf of shareholders.

In this light, something noteworthy is happening at Weyerhaeuser Company, the largest international forest products corporation in North America. A shareholder proposal will be voted on at the annual meeting on April 16, 2009. It is "to adopt a policy that the board's chairman be an independent director" (2009 Proxy Statement, page 48). We also read there, "The board recommends a vote against this proposal" (page 49).

To get to the document, follow this path at the Weyerhaeuser website: Company, Investors, Financial Reports, Proxy Statement (a PDF file).

Page created on April 13, 2009