Though the board as a whole is responsible for the company, and all directors have equal obligations under the law, the chairman′s role has become more prominent in the public perception in recent years. Chairmen have to ensure the effective monitoring of the board and its sub‐committees; that there is good information flow between directors, managers and shareholders. Argues that chairmen need to achieve a careful balance between setting appropriate company values and strategic objectives, and not become too involved in operational management. The question of the separation of powers of the chairman and chief executive is not easy to resolve, and one possibility is the creation of a chief operating officer. States that achieving a balance of power requires strong, independent directors, who should be appointed by a rigorous set of procedures. Independent directors can broaden the horizons of companies if well‐selected. An emphasis on collegiate style and openness assists the performance of the boards of major companies.