• Three Items for 2020 Board Agendas
    Issue: 2020 First Quarter
    By Patrick A. Lee
    Prioritizing board agendas for 2020 will require a balance of near-term focus, agility and long-term thinking. Based on our work with directors and business leaders, we’ve identified key issues for boards to consider as they refine their agendas to respond to the risks and opportunities in the year ...
  • Executive Compensation in an Era of Stakeholder Primacy
    Issue: 2020 First Quarter
    By Kathryn Neel and Olivia Voorhis
    Rising stakeholder expectations surrounding environmental, social and governance issues (ESG) are spilling into a growing corporate awareness of the need to address them. Though some companies have begun to demonstrate progress and commit to commendable goals on the issues — and make strides in inte...
  • A Greek Goodbye
    Issue: 2020 First Quarter
    By Eve Tahmincioglu
    Sustainable human capital is relevant for all companies in driving performance, regardless of their opinion on societal good. That statement came from a corporate governance expert I respect very much. But I question the premise.I believe we need sustainable human capital if we want an equitabl...
  • The Clarion Call for ESG
    By Robert H. Rock
    Large asset managers, notably BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, strongly support the notion that corporations should pursue a social purpose, particularly sustainability, and they are looking to make investments that deliver value to a broad array of stakeholders. They point to studies showing c...
  • Long-Term Incentives in the Era of Strategic Agility
    Conventional Three-Year Performance Share Programs Have LimitsBy Barry Sullivan and Seymour BurchmanIf you were to choose a top-five management practice born in Silicon Valley that promises to grow to maturity in corporations everywhere, you would have to include business agility.Agility in digital ...
  • AI for Boards: Three key risks of artificial intelligence
    Boards are beginning to understand the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) in order for companies to stay competitive.For example, auto manufacturer Tesla uses AI to teach its cars to drive autonomously. Unlike any other company, Tesla has a massive database gleaned from billions of road mile...
  • Western Union’s ESG Reset
    Updated Jan. 27 to include Western Union statementAfter coming under fire for working with a Myanmar military-backed bank, the firm changes course.Western Union announced this week that the company decided to stop using Myawaddy Bank, owned by the Myanmar military, as one of its agents. The bank has...
  • Board Makes Changes at Boeing
    Weeks after taking the board chairmanship away from Dennis A. Muilenburg, the board finishes the job by firing the CEO.Weeks after putting the onus of his compensation on the Boeing board of directors, Dennis A. Muilenburg is out as CEO of the embattled company. He also lost his seat on the board.Th...
  • Five Things for Compensation Committees to Focus on in 2020
    Trends include everything from ESG to politicsAs 2019 approaches its end, it is time to look forward to 2020 to think about what the New Year will bring for compensation committees.There will be a continuing evolution of some trends (e.g., pay equity and diversity, environmental, social and governan...
  • 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. That doesn...
  • Top 10 Corporate Governance Articles of 2019
    This year’s most popular articles covered everything from corporate purpose to the ethics of AIThe article that got the most engagement on Directors & Boards this year was an interview with an influential corporate governance judge who called on directors to do their part in derailing the rising...
  • 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 Union CEO...
  • 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 h...
  • 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. Cons...
  • “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 signal...
  • 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 ...