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Theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc on Wednesday named Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron as chairman, at a time when investors are pushing companies to separate the two roles to keep a check on management.

Aron has served as CEO, president and member of AMC’s board since 2016, having led the company to become the largest cinema operator in the world and maintain its liquidity when the pandemic hammered its business.

One of so-called ‘meme stocks’, AMC soared in a Reddit-driven retail short squeeze in the beginning of the year. The company’s shares were down 2.8 per cent in premarket trading on Wednesday.

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Last month, Microsoft made a similar move, naming CEO Satya Nadella as chairman of its board.

Many large firms have a legacy structure where the CEO and chairperson roles are held by a single person, usually the founder, but only in rare instances do corporations choose to go back to such a structure.

According to data from shareholder advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS) ESG, 59 per cent of S&P companies have a separate chairman and CEO as of 2021, compared with 37 per cent just ten years ago.

AMC said Ambassador Philip Lader will serve as lead director of the company.

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