Jeff Green, The Financial Post, January 2, 2018

The same-day deaths of two aging chief executive officers show why some investors and governance experts want companies to disclose more about succession plans and the health of their executives.

CSX Corp.’s Hunter Harrison, 73, died Dec. 16, a day after news of his medical leave pushed the railroad’s shares down the most in six years. M&T Bank Corp. said Robert Wilmers passed away “suddenly and unexpectedly” at age 83 — just months after the death of his own heir apparent.


These earthly departures underscore the privacy, governance and legal issues entangled in one fact of shifting demographics: As the U.S. population ages, so too do corporate chieftains. The average age of a CEO has risen four per cent in the past decade and there has been at least one health-related change atop Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies in each of the past three years, according to executive recruiter Spencer Stuart.

“What we’re facing is the new paradigm of work,” said Davia Temin, head of the New York-based crisis-management firm Temin & Co. “When people are in the zone of what they love to do, most of them are not going to voluntarily give that up. That means that people will work later, and maybe with a little bit more of an illusion that death won’t apply to them.” […read more]