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Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Age of the Imperial CEO: The Case of Fred R. Johnson at RJR Nabisco

Frederick Ross Johnson, as CEO of RJR Nabisco, was known “for the fleet of corporate jets that ferried him to celebrity golf events and other luxurious perks he awarded himself.”[1] The key words here being awarded himself, for Johnson epitomized the sort of imperial CEO that made an oxymoron out of the notion that the corporate board is to serve as an overseer of corporate management in corporate governance. Awarded himself should be the oxymoron, for such a conflict of interest runs against the logic of any viable business calculus.

The full essay is at "The Imperial CEO."




1. James R. Hagerty, “F. Ross Johnson,” The Wall Street Journal, January 7-8, 2017.