Most general counsel in US companies report to the CEO. More than 80 percent do, so if the Board fires the CEO the GC likely feels the heat. Or is that true? The Economist (May 7, 2005 at 59) cited the Center for Creative Leadership’s, which “reckons that 40% of new chief executives fail within their first 18 months.”
I have not noticed data on turnover rates for general counsel that anywhere near approximates that pace, so perhaps general counsel are seen as agents of continuity. New CEOs need someone with institutional memory. Perhaps incoming CEO’s have more important fires to douse.