• My Board Journey: DEBORA PLUNKETT, Director, Nationwide, J.C. Penney, CACI International, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Eve Tahmincioglu
    What was the process that led you to Nationwide’s boardroom? I was contacted by a senior leader at the company, who asked if I would be interested in interviewing for an anticipated opening. This has been a common path for me — someone refers me or calls because they are familiar with my work in gov...
  • Survival Guide: How Kurt Landgraf prepares for board meetings.
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Maureen Milford
    As president of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, Kurt Landgraf has a packed calendar. Yet, Landgraf happily makes time to serve on the boards of two major U.S. corporations. “I think it’s fascinating, especially if they’re corporations you really like,” he says about Corning Inc., a...
  • TOP OF MIND: What directors are thinking (Janet S. Wong, Enviva Partners, BigControls)
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Directors and Boards
    The focus on the value of more diversity on corporate boards has specifically emphasized women, but not all women.Numerous resources have been developed to help companies identify qualified women candidates for board seats, and as a result, gender representation is slowly increasing. Today, women re...
  • Long-Term Bias and Overconfident CEOs
    What directors should know about keeping the top dog's cockiness in checkAccording to myriad commentators, the culprit responsible for an array of problems in today’s capital markets is “short-termism”—the idea that companies and boards are increasingly sacrificing long-term value creation in exchan...
  • ESG Lessons from S&P’s Facebook Smackdown
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Eve Tahmincioglu
    The S&P 500 ESG (environmental, social and governance) Index lost a few familiar names during its annual rebalancing, including Wells Fargo, Oracle and IBM. But the one that made the most news, and the biggest component of the index, was Facebook.While Facebook did well when it came to the envir...
  • How Well Do You Really Know the Shareholders You Represent?
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By David Shaw
    A few years back, I was at a non-business cocktail party, chatting with someone I had just met. It was a great conversation, as I recall, until I learned that he was a board member of a company in which I held stock, and I shared that fact with him.My holdings were small, comparatively, but large en...
  • The Runaway CEO Gravy Train
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Robert H. Rock
    Forty years ago, Directors & Boards posited the question, “Is Any CEO Worth $1 Million?” Today, almost all CEOs are apparently worth $1 million — often $1 million a month!As our nation struggles to come to grips with income inequality, wealth disparity and social injustice, corporate bosses are ...
  • Weighing ESG Against Directors’ Fiduciary Duty
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Doug Raymond
    A focus on environmental, social and governance benefits should be framed by the lens of business benefits.The directors of a Delaware corporation have a fiduciary duty to manage the corporation, in good faith, in the best interests of the stockholders. Under Delaware law, this means, in  ...
  • Investor Engagement & Sustainable Investing
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Michael Baldinger
    Too Important to Ignore.Applying ESG — environmental, social and corporate governance criteria — to investing decisions is no longer a niche, it’s mainstream. Many of the world’s largest asset owners are now leading the sustainable investing movement, developing increasingly sophisticated approaches...
  • 5 Key ESG Proxy Season Takeaways
    EY report finds gender diversity and sustainability key issues for 2019Environmental, social and governance issues were at the heart of proxy votes and proxy statements this year; yet more evidence that boards need to be focused on ESG oversight.Gender diversity and sustainability were among the mai...
  • Getting More Diverse Voices to the Board Table
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Denielle Pemberton-Heard
    Can the environmental, social and governance movement finally usher in change?The environmental, social and governance movement feels more radical today than the well-intended social-good phenomenon that the current U.S. corporate leadership remembers from the 1980s, (i.e. anti-apartheid divestment ...
  • DIRECTORS TO WATCH: Gender Diversity in the Boardroom
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Scott Chase
    Law firms, investors and watchdogs keep the heat on.“Board diversity and expanding the pool” are among the top issues that companies are being called upon to prioritize, according to a recent memo from the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz titled “Board Development and Director Succession ...
  • The New “New Paradigm”
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Martin Lipton
    Fighting short-termism by embracing purpose and all stakeholders.By Martin LiptonAt the request of the World Economic Forum, together with a team of my Wachtell Lipton colleagues, I prepared “The New Paradigm: A Roadmap for an Implicit Corporate Governance Partnership between Corporations and Invest...
  • Investor Capitalism Prevailed: Now What for Long-Termism?
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Michael Useem
    Institutional investors need to continue pushing for board leadership.It has been a quiet revolution.In the old days, circa 1950, small holders, our parents and their parents, owned most of America’s largest publicly traded companies. Now, some 70 years later, they have been replaced by the great in...
  • Achieving Gender Parity on Boards
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Janice Ellig and Carolyn Carter
    Corporate leaders who have paved the way share their insights and strategies.Corporate leaders spearheading gender parity in the boardroom can provide a window into how to achieve what many see as unachievable.These companies are in a unique group of nearly 325 with 30% or more women on their boards...
  • Forcing ESG
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Maureen Milford
    From holding CEOs accountable to mandating women on boards, some policymakers want to mandate that corporations do good.For the first time since the Great Depression, companies are vulnerable to a range of proposed legislation that attempts to rein in what some believe are freewheeling behaviors all...
  • Investors Want More Human Capital Oversight
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Blair Jones
    Time for directors to oversee “the most important asset.”Directors are questioning whether they should be exercising more oversight of human resources management, and that’s leading to changes in the boardroom.At Caterpillar Inc., the board now has a compensation and human resources committee. At Pr...
  • SEC Chief Takes on Short-Termism and ESG
    Issue: 2019 Annual Report
    By Eve Tahmincioglu
    Chairman Jay Clayton wants to bolster long-termism by streamlining reporting requirements, and his agency is evaluating new human-capital risk disclosures.The decline of long-term thinking “bothers” Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission.It isn’t good for investors or ...
  • Corporate Governance at Mid-Market Companies
    By April Hall
    Survey finds most companies have independent chairs, and a rise in dual-class stock structuresA new survey of mid-market public companies sheds light on a host of corporate governance practices, from board size to stockholder activity.The study, by law firm Benesch, looked at companies with market c...
  • Influential Corporate Law Judge To Step Down
    Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo Strine to leave this fall.Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo Strine plans to step down from his post, halfway through his 12-year term.Strine is considered one of the nation’s most influential corporate law judges since he heads the high court in Delawa...