It occurs to me that my previous post assumed something I don’t actually know: that the title “Chief Executive Officer,” used in an SEC filing, has a defined legal significance. If a ten-person company wants to call its supply clerk “Senior Executive Vice President for Logistics Management,” no one has any kick coming. But is it legally possible to be a non-playing CEO? If so, please tell me.
I’m hoping for answers from people with specific knowledge of securities law.
Footnote Note that the question of Romney’s executive duties goes to his veracity in disclaiming any direct control over various things Bain Capital did. The moral question is trickier. Assuming he wasn’t making the decisions himself, did he still have responsibility for them?
What’s undisputed is that it was Romney’s enterprise and that he was its sole stockholder. You might think that the owner of a whorehouse counts as a pimp even if someone else is physically collecting the money.
But, as I say, that’s a different question. The question for now is whether he either deceived the voters by claiming he wasn’t involved or deceived the SEC by claiming the CEO title.