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This paper investigates whether long-tenured cooperative chief executive officers (CEOs) are successful in negotiating less monitoring, resulting in the cooperative being agent driven. Utilizing a sample of the 1000 largest US agricultural cooperatives, we examine whether boards of long-tenured CEOs exhibit differences in composition, formal committees, or procedures that may indicate these boards are more lenient monitors. We find long-tenured CEOs experience less board monitoring. This result is primarily due to a difference in procedural mechanisms, rather than board composition. However, it is unclear whether monitoring leniency is an indication of the CEO's ability to negotiate less monitoring. It remains a possibility that CEOs with shorter tenures also influence the board; but their recommendations may be heavily influenced by non-compulsory conformance with stricter corporate governance regulations. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.