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Goldman Sachs Governance Shakeup Still Has Skeptics

Corporate boards may be able to improve governance by separating positions of

In order to derail a union pension fund's shareholder proposal that could have effectively pushed out the company's chairman, Goldman Sachs Group recently said it would rearrange its board structure, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The American Federation of State, County and

In order to derail a union pension fund's shareholder proposal that could have effectively pushed out the company's chairman, Goldman Sachs Group recently said it would rearrange its board structure, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees called on the firm to take away chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein's title of chairman, saying the move would ease worries about conflicting interests and could help patch up its reputation.

"Inside Goldman, Afscme's proposal last September sparked months of discussions and contingency planning among directors and executives on the firm's powerful management committee," the Journal reports.

Writing for Forbes, Susan Adams says that the Goldman decision (and a similar one at BATS Global Markets) to make changes that impact corporate governance and structure will do little to change the deep-seated issues. The rearrangement is representative of a broader movement to divorce the CEO and board chairman titles, Adams reports, but some analysts do not believe that the separate can assure an improvement in corporate governance.

"People have fallen into this checklist of easy structural interventions, but there's no evidence they make things better," Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Yale School of Management professor, told Adams.

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