you have answered the question of "does just extreme intelligence and personal decency qualify one to be ceo of a large, nyse company?" of course the answer is NO. actually smarts is not top choice for ceo. the ability to select good, make-it-happen people who can work together to get things done is one of the most important qualities of a good ceo.
what is wrong with the board of directors of br? are they not independent members? i looked at the BoD list some months ago, and they looked like they should be independent of the management. however i do not know the hidden lines that tie some of them together with management. if the board is smart and independent, seems to me they should have this problem well in hand and toward a solution. if the board is tied-in tightly with management, doesn't that explain everything.