Managing a modern corporation has put an increasing strain on the time, skills and knowledge of the chief executive. As corporate complexities multiply, more companies are turning to a management setup that attempts to broaden corporate leadership by drastically altering the traditional chain of command. Instead of one man at the pinnacle, the companies are creating the so-called "office of the chairman," which is composed of three, four or even five top officers who share responsibility for running the company and transform the old method of solitary decision making into a kind of group think. Last week the idea began...

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