Of course, many shareholders care more about profits than principle. And JPMorgan, like other firms where the CEO also chairs the board, does have an "independent lead director" on the board whose job is to provide a balance to the powerful chairman-CEO.
Still, Eckbo argues that separating the two roles is a matter of checks and balances.
"The role of the board is to hire and fire and set compensation for CEO. And if the CEO is the chairman of the board, there is an inherent conflict of interest," he says. "It makes it hard for the board to do what it needs to do."
- Is Yahoo Paying Too Much for Tumblr?
- Dow, S&P Rise, Obama and Congress Tumble
- What Makes a Small Business? Depends Who You Ask