Professor Sonnenfeld’s vociferous defense of the recent leadership award to Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good is unconvincing. 

She may be among the best business leaders in the utilities industry, but she has not miraculously transformed the company into a renewable energy “powerhouse.” According to Duke’s most recent sustainability report, only 3.3 percent of its electricity last year was wind generated. The percentage of solar energy was even lower, a meager 1.8 percent. 

The 40 percent carbon dioxide reduction he cites is almost entirely due to the company switching from coal to (previously very cheap) natural gas over the past 15 years. 

Regarding the negligence lawsuit against the Boeing board of directors — of which Ms. Good is still a very highly compensated member — the jury is literally still out. Until the Delaware shareholder case concludes, it seems premature to suggest the board bears no legal liability or responsibility for the tragic loss of life. 

The victims’ families would no doubt disagree with the assertion that the board has been exonerated. 

As Michael Stumo wrote: “I never noticed who ran Boeing until their plane took my daughter’s life. Now I know more than I ever dreamed about aviation safety, and I know that a bad board of directors can cost lives.” 

The Leadership Institute should have made the award to a more deserving, transformational CEO who is making a real environmental impact. Might I suggest Elon Musk next time? 

JOHN M DUSZA graduated from the Yale School of Management in 2003. Contact him at ​​