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The qualities and experience needed to be a good chairman

Frank Lewis, independent non-executive director and chairman, and Dr Sarah Blackburn, Managing Director, the Wayside Network explore what makes an effective chairman.

Becoming “Chairman of the Board” was once the pinnacle of achievement in corporate life. But as the role of the chief executive developed, the chairman’s job, if it existed, was often seen as just chairing the board meetings and, if necessary, sacking the CEO.

It became common to combine the two roles, until corporate governance scandals such as Maxwell reminded us that lack of accountability at the top of companies was not in the best interests of society nor even shareholders.