Tenure of the times
By James Kristie

I ’ve been thinking a lot about tenure lately. Right after the first of the year I began editing a 56-page transcript of a panel discussion on board tenure to adapt it into the cover story for this edition. Ed- iting transcripts is one of the most intri- cate and intensive editing jobs. I have been known to quip that editing a transcript is like carving a block of marble: There is a statue of David in there somewhere and with a lot of sweat and precision chiseling it will eventually manifest itself. An d a s t a t u e o f D av i d d i d e m e r g e , thanks to the quality raw material I had to work with. You will enjoy the comments from the ac- complished panelists. They assembled under the ban- ner of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Dela- ware to candid ly address important themes related to director tenure and board dynamics. Charles Elson, the center’s director (and a Directors & Boards edi- torial advisory board member), masterful- ly moderated the discussion. He prodded the panel to address some thorny topics that are often overlooked in the polite confines of the boardroom. This debate, which I had the pleasure of sitting in on (and a small role to Charles’ big role in helping to organize), should contribute to a more nuanced understanding of policies governing director term limits and board evaluations. Another task any editor faces is to craft an issue of a publication as an integrated package. We definitely apply that concept in the following pages. The article by Peter Spanberger and Susan Jackson, titled “Di- versify the Board … by Personality Type!” (page 27) amplifies some of the panel’s in- terplay over board dynamics. The Heidrick & Struggles Governance Letter (page 49) is also an effective companion piece to the cover story by examining how to en- hance the CEO-board dynamic. The title of this article gives you a taste of what’s in store: “Boards Think They’re Doing a Good Job … but CEOs Don’t.” And there can be some surprising congruencies in assembling an issue. I got a kick out of two separate references to a legendar y member of the Harvard B-school faculty, General Georges Doriot. One comes from venture capitalist Tom Perkins (page 53) and the other from William Bowen, author of what may be this year’s major book on governance, The Board Book: An Insid- er’s Guide for Directors and Trustees (page 64). What also got me think- ing about tenure was Fidel Ca s t ro’s de c i s i on to s te p down as Cuba’s president. Another quip I have been known to tell is that the only ( n on - roya l ) p ers on I a m aware of who has been in his same post as when I became editor of Di- rectors & Boards in 1981 is … Fidel Cas- tro. How many leaders have come and gone from the Fortune 500? How many leaders, elected and unelected, from the govern- ment? From the major universities and not- for-profit institutions? From sports teams (the ultimate revolving door)? With Castro now gone, I guess I have to retire that par- ticular quip. But there is no retiring in my commitment to deliver to the Directors & Boards audience the premium exposure to “thought leadership” in board governance that has been the legacy of this journal. This current edition affirms that commitment. directors & boards ® Editor’s notE www.directorsandboards.com James Kristie Editor and Associate Publisher Barbara Spector Hoffer Kaback Kelly McCarthy Contributing Editors Jerri Smith-Baldwin Accounting Bill Cooke bill cooke + company Design & Production Published by MLR Holdings LLC Milton L. Rock Chairman Robert H. Rock President Lisa M. Cody Chief Financial Officer Editorial and Business Offices 1845 Walnut Street, Suite 900 Philadelphia, PA 19103 Telephone: 215-567-3200 Fax: 215-405-6078 E-mail: jkristie@directorsandboards.com Publishing Director David Shaw grid media llc Telephone: 301-963-6162 E-mail: david@gridmediallc.com Advertising Scott Chase grid media llc Telephone: 301-879-1613 E-mail: scottchase@verizon.net Subscriptions/Fulfillment Barbara A. Wenger Telephone: 215-405-6072 E-mail: bwenger@directorsandboards.com Directors & BoarDs (ISSN 0364-9156) is published quarterly, ©2008 by MLR Holdings LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without prior written permission from the publisher. Subscriptions are $325 per year in the U.S.; $350 (by air) elsewhere. Article reprints – Contact Jerri Smith at 215-405-6071. Tenure of the times
 


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