Whose Company Is It? Changing CEO Ideology in Japan
This chapter reports the results of interviews with senior managers of large Japanese companies in 2007 and 2008. There is recognition of a greater role for the CEO, and of a less collegial approach to management. There is more direct communication with shareholders than there used to be and greater sensitivity to shareholder value, but many companies continue to stress regularity of supply to customers as the main priority. It is accepted that dividend payouts are not going to be as stable as in the past and there is a growing role for independent directors, but they tend to be seen as advisers, not the representatives of the shareholders. On executive pay, there is a perception that the gap between the pay of senior managers and the rest had not become excessive. The idea that shareholders “own” the company has little support.
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