• Top of Mind: ROBIN FERRACONE, Director, Trupanion, Oaktree Capital Funds, and Enlight
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    As Americans look forward to the start of a new decade, it is an opportune time to reflect on the changes of the past 10 years. One of the most heartening developments is the increasing representation of women directors and other diverse directors on public company boards.As a member of the board of...
  • OUTSIDE THE BOARDROOM: Herman Bulls Director, USAA and Comfort Systems; Vice Chairman, JLL
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Eve Tahmincioglu
    Diversity & Inclusion InstigatorFrom diversity and inclusion to pay equity, Herman Bulls gets involved as an “instigator” and “role model” for the CEO, management, the workforce and the community. And a lot of that work happens outside the boardroom.“You need to know the organization. ...
  • Director Data Q4 2019
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Directors and Boards
    S&P 500 Equity Return by Governance RankingThere is strong bottom-line evidence for strong corporate governance. By applying the composite measure of corporate governance characteristics to the S&P 500, a report found that the companies in the top 20% outperformed those in the bottom 20% by ...
  • ESG: PR or Societal Play?
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Eve Tahmincioglu
    There’s something I’ve come to expect as a business journalist. Whenever you share positive news about a company, it’s often an invitation for critics to point out the not-so-positive.So, I wasn’t shocked when I received an email following the publication of an interview I did with Western U...
  • Corporate Culture of Gratitude
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Robert H. Rock
    As I have done for the past 30 years, I delivered an address on Thanksgiving Day to my family and close friends who gathered at my home to celebrate America’s secular holiday. Thanksgiving glorifies our nation as a land of opportunity, of sharing, of plenty. We come together to give thanks for our...
  • Confirmation Bias Can Cloud Director Judgement
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    Theranos is one example of how “we hear what we want to hear and disregard the rest.”By Ralph A. Weber and Dale E. JonesWe all know the basic facts of the Theranos debacle: Brilliant Stanford dropout fools almost everyone about a blood-testing device she proclaims will revolutionize healthcare. ...
  • “Purpose Debate”: Time to Tune, Not to Reinvent
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    Pay plan design doesn’t need an overhaul for a stakeholder approach.By Barry SullivanThe more things change, the more they stay the same. You could say that about the recent Business Roundtable’s announcement that the purpose of companies is to serve all stakeholders.Albeit hugely symbolic in si...
  • Amid “Purpose” Debate, Reassess Engagement
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    Directors need to bolster transparency, scrutinize company political spending.By Stephen L. BrownIn light of the renewed debate around corporate purpose, companies and boards may want to reassess their engagement and outreach plans for 2020.The debate around purpose was reignited by the August publi...
  • The Revolving Door From Government to the Boardroom
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Eve Tahmincioglu and Barbara Wenger
    6% of corporate board appointments this year have gone to political leaders, and a heightened political environment has intensified scrutiny. In May, news broke that former White House chief of staff John Kelly joined the board of Caliburn International Corp., the company that operates one of t...
  • Board Political Balance
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By April Hall
    Do you need directors from across the political spectrum? Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, a liberal, and former secretary of state Gen. Colin Powell, a conservative, have been working together for years on community projects including installing computers in public schools. In 2014, Powell joined ...
  • Corporate Activism
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    A case study of GE’s stand on bathroom bills and lessons learned.A political stand on LGBTQ rights by GE five years ago met with acclaim in many quarters but also led to criticism from some legislators and to a contentious proposal at an the company’s annual meeting claiming strategic hypocrisy....
  • Guns and the Boardroom
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Jan Alexander
    Why directors can’t sidestep the gun-control debate.Keith Mestrich, the CEO and president of Amalgamated Bank in New York as well as a board member, is no stranger to the gun safety debate.Amalgamated has been a mission-driven bank since its founding in the 1920s, and support for gun control is pa...
  • Drowning in Politics
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Maureen Milford
    Historically, corporate leaders have had to navigate through political waters. A look back may provide a way forward for directors.Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg thought he was speaking privately to company employees at an internal all-hands meeting in July when he railed against a plan backed by...
  • Politics and the Board
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Eve Tahmincioglu
    From guns to the impending 2020 elections, boards are plodding through political issues like never before.Whether directors like it or not, politics is increasingly on the boardroom table, and political issues and decisions made by corporate leaders are increasingly in a fishbowl of intense public s...
  • Shifting Leverage in Shareholder Votes
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Doug Raymond
    Cross currents with shareholder access to company proxies.An incumbent director has powerful advantages in any election contest with a challenger. One of the most significant is that the incumbents’ nominations are included in the company’s proxy statement, and the proxy card that goes to all sh...
  • DIRECTORS TO WATCH: Diversity initiatives build up steam
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Scott Chase
    Diversity — gender, racial, ethnic, age — appears on just about every list of key governance issues and concerns for public company boardrooms as we enter the third decade of the 21st century.But making the “top five” on lists isn’t the same as achieving broad consensus on importance and, ...
  • My Board Journey: Lou Miramontes, Director, Rite Aid Corp., Lithia Motors Inc., Oportun Financial Corp.
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    By Eve Tahmincioglu
    How did you choose the boards you serve and have served on? I was introduced to one of the boards by a search firm, I was referred to one board by a business colleague and a third board opportunity came from a prior business relationship. For each of the boards, I believed that my skills and experie...
  • 3 Advantages Boards Need to Know About Blockchain
    By Jay Schulman
    Blockchain will change the rules for middle-market companies. The technology creates immutable records, thereby reducing fraud risk, enabling smart contracts and digital currency, and streamlining processes for records, recall information and myriad transactions — across distances.In a fundamental...
  • Why You Should Add Women to the Board (Even When You Don’t Have to)
    By Jurgita Ashley
    Little is to be gained from adding women to the board purely for the sake of fulfilling a quota. That’s not the reason to wait. This is the case for not delaying to add the women who bring unique experiences and qualifications that align with the company’s current needs and, in turn, can enhance...
  • The Board’s Role in Cultivating an Inclusive Culture
    Issue: 2019 Fourth Quarter
    “Just selecting a strong group of high-ranking executives doesn’t cut it,” say PwC and Ariel Investments chairmen.By Tim Ryan and John W. RogersMellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments and vice-chair of the board at Starbucks and JPMorgan, has consistently talked about greater opportunities...