Sundance board should not have travelled together

by 22 Jun 2010

The board of oil firm Sundance Resources who all died in a place crash in Africa should never have been allowed on the same flight together, according an organisational leadership expert.

The wreckage of the chartered plane carrying the oil company’s entire board of directors was found in the Republic of Congo yesterday with no survivors, and questions have been raised about the firm’s corporate governance policies.

Carol Gill, program director, organisational leadership at Melbourne Business School, said: “I am very surprised they let everyone travel in an aircraft of that nature together. It’s not very effective risk management.

“Organisations and stock prices are made up of tangible and intangible values. An intangible value is leadership, so it is a major risk when the entire leadership is wiped out.

“I worked for BHP for a number of years and we had a strict policy that the whole board weren’t allowed to fly together even on a commercial flight, let alone a chartered flight of that nature.”

Gill added that the impact of the loss depends of the structure of Sundance as an organisation, how empowered the remaining management is, and how good its succession planning plan is.

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