By Alan Murray and Geoffrey Smith
October 5, 2017

Good morning.

CEOs love to have other CEOs sit on their boards. And why not? No one knows the pressures they face better than someone else who has held the top job.

But now shareholder advisor ISS has decided, in the case of Procter & Gamble at least, that too many CEOs spoil the stew. That’s one of the reasons it is recommending that shareholders support activist Nelson Peltz’s effort to get a seat on the P&G board.

It’s certainly a blue-chip bunch he is hoping to join—including former Boeing CEO James McNerney, former Home Depot chief Frank Blake, former WellPoint CEO Angela Braly, former Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren, current American Express CEO Ken Chenault, and HPE CEO Meg Whitman. Who wouldn’t want that collection of corner office talent at their side?

But ISS says too many CEOs may be a problem. “More often than not, CEOs see activists as a threat,” the group argues. But the P&G board “could benefit from additional diversity of thought and experience, and the presence of a stronger shareholder voice.”

ISS is not alone. Glass-Lewis and Egan-Jones also are supporting Peltz’s bid, making next week’s shareholder vote a cliff hanger.

We don’t usually side with activists, since they often seem more interested in finding fast cash than adding long-term value. But Fortune‘s Shawn Tully says this may be a case where activist aggravation could be a helpful tonic. You can read Tully’s analysis here.

More news below.

Alan Murray


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