Board Games

In a fundamental power shift in corporate America, boards of directors, once tame and docile, are turning on their masters

His company was bleeding rivers of red ink, and his shareholders were openly critical of his abilities as a manager. But John Akers, chairman of IBM, defiantly rejected calls for his resignation. Even as late as December, he claimed to have the complete backing of his board of directors. But at an acrimonious board meeting last week -- the first since the company reported a record loss of $5 billion for 1992 -- Akers changed his tune. After an emotionally charged meeting with the seven members of the powerful executive committee, Akers, 59, informed the fully assembled board of his decision...

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