On Business: SCANA Breaks With Tradition by Splitting Chairman, CEO Roles
The changing-of-the-guard at South Carolina's biggest publicly traded business includes two abrupt retirements and several in-house promotions. Largely unnoticed amid the senior management shakeup was a sudden break from a long tradition in the upper echelon at SCANA Corp. The utility owner, facing blistering scrutiny over the failed V.C. Summer nuclear plant expansion, will be splitting the combined chairman and chief executive officer role now held by the retiring Kevin B. Marsh. Starting Jan. 1, the lofty titles at the state's largest public company will be spread among two decision-makers, rather than one.
Dallas attorney Michael Stockham, a litigation partner at Thompson & Knight LLP who has written about the chairman-CEO debate, said it isn't unique for companies to separate the two functions when they change management. The overall results are "a mixed bag," he added. In the case of SCANA, he said, the questions will be about whether the move "ultimately provides value for the board, improves corporate governance and increases shareholder value.”
“And whether they decide to recombine the jobs somewhere down the way," Stockham said.