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to Watch 2014
Edited by Scott Chase
Activism, as many directors have discovered, comes in many different
varieties. For some, aggressive shareholders disrupting annual
meetings, pushing inconvenient votes, or requesting sensitive
information are at the perigee of one-share-or-more owner empowerment.
For others, activism in the digital age has taken a different form,
with agitators sometimes having no stake whatsoever in the targeted
company itself, but rather in an ideal or a cause that affects the
boardroom and often the company’s reputation.
Boards that pay lip service to the concept of gender diversity but take
no easily discernible action to achieve it have come under the
microscope of groups that seek to drive inclusion. Such is the case
with Monster Beverage Corporation, which earlier this year was
criticized for recommending a vote against a board diversity proposal.
The 2020 Challenge, “a national campaign to increase the percentage of
women on U.S. company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020,”
authored by 2020 Women on Boards, led the charge on this effort,
demanding that the company “comply with California Resolution 62 and
add at least two women” to its board. While denouncing the energy drink
bottler, 2020 Challenge at the same time showered kudos on the boards
of PepsiCo, Inc. (36% women), Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (33%
women), and Coca-Cola Company (24% women).
Board and CEO search firm Heidrick & Struggles two months ago
released the results of research on gender diversity that The
Washington Post opined blended good news with bad. Here’s the good
news: Bonnie Gwin, vice chairman and managing partner of the executive
recruiter’s North American board practice and frequent contributor to
Directors & Boards, said, “Corporations are bringing women onto
their boards of directors in increasing numbers. That will result in
greater diversity of thinking and, ultimately, better governance and
wider-ranging strategic insights.”
And here’s the bad: Despite a greater appreciation for the benefits of
diverse insight, research by Gwin’s team shows that current rates of
movement on corporate board composition indicate that women will hold
half of Fortune 500 board seats for the first time 28 years from now in
2042. But, Gwin, noted, there are a number of fairly recent
developments that could accelerate this march.
Sure to be part of the process will be groups like Diversity in the
Boardroom, WomenCorporateDirectors, Boardroom Bound, and dedicated
executives and professionals like the ones profiled below in Directors
& Boards’ ninth annual class of Directors to Watch.
Download a pdf of the entire Directors to Watch article.
In the Current Issue:
Annual Report 2014
The Year in Review
A month-by-month timeline of year 2013 and the people, companies,
organizations, and initiatives that generated notable corporate
The best reason to invest in companies? It's not their voting
system. Interview with William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estee
Lauder Companies Inc.
Directors to Watch
The class of 2014 brings into the boardroom a heightened sense of risk
In This Month's e-Briefing:
for a free subscription)
September is my
anniversary month with Directors
& Boards. I mark the start of my 34th year as editor this
Of Murray and Warren . . . and someone else very special.
Two of the earliest authors I edited were Murray Weidenbaum and Warren
Bennis. Both have passed away this year: Weidenbaum on March 20 and
Bennis on July 31.
I met Murray shortly after he stepped down in 1982 as Chairman of the
Council of Economic Advisers in President Reagan’s first
administration. He was passing through Philadelphia and we had
breakfast at the Union League Club.
This was the start of a productive relationship that resulted in his
writing over a half-dozen keenly observed articles for Directors & Boards
on topics ranging from corporate board leadership to global trade
policy to what CEOs can learn from the management style of Ronald
Reagan. That latter article was a highlight of the 30th anniversary
issue of Directors & Boards
I jumped right into a relationship with Warren Bennis as soon as I
arrived here in 1981. Renowned even back then as a scholar of
leadership, he was conducting a series of interviews with corporate
leaders and sharing them with Directors & Boards before they went
into his books, of which he was to write more than 30.
What a pleasure this was for an editor — to craft Warren’s interview
transcripts into stimulating Q&A articles. His interview with Peter
Drucker, which we titled “The Invention of Management” and published in
1982, is a must read for Drucker devotees, business historians, and
anyone seeking to understand how modern management came into being
after World War II.
In tribute to these two individuals who contributed so importantly to
the advancement of thought leadership in corporate governance, we bring
you passages from their Directors
& Boards articles in this month’s e-Briefing.
There has been another passing this year that was meaningful to me — as
a son as well as an editor. My mother died on July 26. I was known to
quip that the only person who read my editor’s page in Directors & Boards
was my mother. That would always get a laugh from whomever I told it
to, but also a knowing nod. Mothers, after all, do special kinds of
things for their children, and reading her son’s “Editor’s Note” in
each issue — not just reading but commenting on it, too! — was one of
those special things. I will miss her as a Mom and as a close reader.
So this month catches me in a reflective mood as I think about comings
and goings. I hope you had a good summer and are ready to capitalize on
what the balance of the year will bring.
As always, I welcome your comments at email@example.com.
Click here for a permalink to Jim's article.
Click the link below
to read more.
• Being a Leader: It's Not Just About Golf
• A father's Lessons
Events of Interest to
September 3-4, 2014
WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) will hold its 2014 Asia Institute at the
Ritz-Carlton Millenia Hotel, Singapore. The event will be a historic
gathering of more than 100 women directors from all over Asia and
around the world, and will be a high-powered idea forum exploring
compelling issues on the minds of today’s Asian directors. The program
will frame critical topics, discuss innovative ideas, and help
directors to reach constructive solutions. This forum will consist of
keynotes, "Conversations With" CEOs of global companies, panels, and
roundtable discussion groups. Participation in the WCD 2014 Asia
Institute is by invitation only for WCD members and invited women
directors. If you have suggestions for women directors to invite to the
Asia Institute, please send their professional bio, highlighting their
board of director experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 24-25, 2014
The Ethisphere Institute and Thomson Reuters will host the 1st Annual
Europe Ethics Summit in London. Key topics include: Anti-Corruption
Trends Across Europe; Human Rights - Corporate Responsibility in
Protecting People and Managing Risk; Government Panel - Collaborative
Enforcement Across the EU; plus a range of breakout sessions tailored
to address specific interests. Key leaders of government agencies and
global companies will speak, including Emmanuel Lulin, chief ethics
office of L’Oreal; Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman (founder), Royal
Dutch Shell; and Pamela Passman, CEO of the Center for Responsible
Enterprise and Trade. For
more information click here.
1845 Walnut Street, Suite 900 • Philadelphia PA 19103
Tel: (800) 637-4464 or (215) 567-3200 Fax:
James Kristie (215) 405-6081 email@example.com
David Shaw (301) 963-6162 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Chase (301) 879-1613 email@example.com
Barbara Wenger (215) 405-6072 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerri Smith (215) 405-6071 email@example.com