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Joint bosses 'used as interim management solution'

8 March 2010

Companies that have gone through a merger or struggled with difficult trading conditions may opt for shared leadership as an interim measure.

The Economist notes that the appointment of joint bosses remains a relatively frequent occurrence in the corporate world, despite the problems that such an arrangement can bring.

High-profile examples of dual leadership include the reign of Sanjay Jha and Greg Brown, who took over as joint chief executives at Motorola in 2008 after the telecoms giant's fortunes took a turn for the worse.

Last month, social media pioneer MySpace replaced its boss Owen Van Natta with two "co-presidents".

Mike Jones and Jason Hirschorn were brought in alongside Van Natta last year, but have now taken over from the former Facebook executive as MySpace attempts to revitalise itself.

The Economist explains that the use of two leaders usually represents an interim management strategy, rather than a permanent solution.

This is because the sharing of executive responsibilities can be problematic for companies over the long term, with "internal power struggles" more likely to develop.

In addition, the presence of two bosses can make it more difficult for boards to hold either executive to account.

Categories: Technology, Entertainment & Communications


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