Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Quiz time

I whinged gently about this year's Oxford Media Convention for an underwhelming line-up. However, the keynote tomorrow afternoon from the BBC Chair Rona Fairhead will now be more interesting than it first looked.

Witchfinder-general Margaret Hodge asked the wrong people about Rona's role at HSBC in last week's Public Accounts Committee session on the BBC. It's a much broader question. Non-executive directors are hired to provide scrutiny to a company's operations and plans, not just to nod things through til ushered to the directors' dining room. They have to approve strategic decisions, annual reports, deals and salaries. And they have to ask questions beyond the reports they are given to read.

Sadly, there's no long and proud record of non-execs "walking" when bad things are done within a company on their watch - though at least a couple of Tesco NEDs have properly announced they are moving on. The question for Rona is, I think, if she hasn't been asking the right questions at HSBC, can she really provide the scrutiny required to keep the BBC straight ? The question for HSBC shareholders is whether their current bunch of NEDs have really worked hard enough to protect their investments ?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Other people who read this.......