UK - Increased shareholder activism in the past year has not damaged the stability at the top of FTSE100 companies, a new survey reveals.
The survey – carried out by online business broadcaster Cantos – showed that 89 of the chief executives were in office this time last year, despite several high-profile departures in the past 12 months.
The survey also found that chief executives of leading UK companies could expect increased job security.
The average period in office for FTSE100 CEOs has risen to five years compared to 4.4 years in 2002. Up until 2002 the average term in office was shortening.
Eleven chief executives were appointed last year compared to 19 in 2003, with 71% in their jobs for two years or more (up from 66% in 2003).
Deutsche Asset Management head of corporate governance Andrew Tusa said the market’s gradual stabilisation had contributed to the rise in average tenure. He said: “The shake-out that happened with overvaluations and investor disquiet has happened, by and large.
“Those companies which were most exposed have made the necessary changes at the top level and we’re now looking at more of a business-as-usual situation when executives can get on to fulfil strategy.”
But Tusa questioned whether five years was sufficient time for strategic change to be measured.
He blamed investors for sometimes being “short-termist” in their outlook and claimed there was a greater need to look for longer-term signals.
The longest serving current FTSE100 CEO is Sir Kenneth Morrison who retains executive duties as chairman of Wm Morrison Supermarkets, and has been in charge since the company listed in 1967.
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