The board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce yesterday issued a statement expressing confidence in its president, Richard L. Lesher, whose political and financial policies have been criticized recently by some board members and others within the chamber.
"The board of directors by unanimous vote . . . expressed its conviction that the chairman and the president cooperatively with the staff will continue to implement the policies of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States as approved and directed by the board," the statement, issued after the board's quarterly meeting, said.
The chamber's most recent annual financial statement shows that its capital fund of securities dropped by 26 percent between 1980 and 1981 and its operating deficit more than doubled to nearly $10 million in that period.
Under Lesher, the chamber has built a $4 million TV studio to beam news and political reports to its subscribers. However, the elaborate studio, which was completed last summer, and efforts to increase membership have been a drain on the chamber's resources. Fewer than anticipated members have subscribed to its weekday business broadcast, called BizNet.
The board's statement also seems to signal a truce between Lesher and Chairman Paul Thayer, who is chief executive officer of LTV Corp. of Dallas. Thayer and Lesher clashed openly last summer when the chamber came out against the Reagan administration's 1982 tax increases, and the two men have remained at odds.