Also keep note - some companies have a combined CEO/Chairman of the board role. While he/she would not be allowed to negotiate contracts or stock plans, some corporate governance analysts advocate for the separation of the roles to remove any opportunity for the CEO to unduly influence the board. This could be the case for dysfunctional boards. However, the alternate camps will say that the combined role has no negative effect on shareholder returns.
SEC regulations require companies to disclose negotiations between the board and CEO (as well as other named executives) for contracts, employee stock plans, and related information. Sometimes reading the proxy statement to find out, for example, how many times the board meets a year, how many other boards a director serves on, and if the CEO sits on any other board (usually discouraged to serve on more than 2) will provide some insight into a well-run (or not well-run) board.