Archive for the ‘Board Composition’ Category

How to Land—and Keep—the Right Board Seat

October 25th, 2013 | By

What does it take to get on a board? It’s not an easy task. Identifying, approaching, and successfully procuring a seat on the right board can be a long, and sometimes daunting, journey. This panel offered insights on the future of boardroom composition. Having a board made up of people with relevant skill sets and experience is critical in today’s competitive business environment, and boards want the best candidates available. The panel discussed the latest trends in director recruitment and how they impact the search process. It also discussed the qualifications most commonly found in successful candidates. Maggie Wilderotter, chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications Corp. and director of Xerox and Procter & Gamble, shared her perspective and experiences, having served on 23 public company boards over the last 28 years.

Highlights:
1. Boards are focusing more on succession planning—looking three to five years out for the skills they’ll need to help drive success. It’s not surprising that most board searches still focus on CEOs (which is what large-cap companies want) or business unit heads (which mid-cap companies seek). Whatever the title, the key is that person has a track record of making good decisions. What’s also notable is that the majority of directors landed on boards because they knew an influential person, such as another director, who recommended them.

2. Board search firms will often reach out to CEOs and directors to ask for the name of the best director on their board and why that person provides the most value. Often the characteristics of those “best” directors are similar. They keep the company top of mind. They are bright and have good judgment. They challenge, but do so respectfully. And they mentor management. They are also generally likeable and are easy to interact with.

3. If you’re looking for a board seat, you need to be able to articulate where you could add value. That often means focusing on the two or three industries where you believe your skills would be a great fit. And be strategic in identifying companies on whose boards you would like to serve, then make it your mission to get to know those directors. You also need to understand who else is on the board and be comfortable that you would fit with the culture and values.

Speakers:
Robert E. Hallagan
Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Board Leadership Services, Korn/Ferry International

Maggie Wilderotter
Chairman and CEO, Frontier Communications Corp.; Director, Xerox, Procter & Gamble

This summary provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Follow the Leader: The 2020 Chairman/Lead Director

October 18th, 2013 | By

Leadership is crucial amid today’s rapidly changing governance landscape. This panel discussed what it takes to head a high-performance board. With boards currently facing unprecedented challenges, having the right lead director in place is critical. The right leader can guide boards as they confront new challenges and deal with their normal oversight responsibilities. It’s important for boards to focus on strategy and innovation while minding regulatory and compliance matters. It’s also important to align strategy with the right performance metrics and ensure that independent directors are fully up to speed on the company, the industry, and key competitors. As we think about where all boards should be in 2020, they should strive to achieve high-performance.

Highlights:
1. Boards should have an independent, strong, effective leader with the right skills. The process to select the board chair should be as rigorous as the process for selecting the CEO.

2. The chair should set the board’s vision and key objectives. Directors should be held accountable for this vision.

3. Boards should have a rigorous performance evaluation process. The process should include understanding the challenges the company is facing and aligning board skills with these areas. Directors need to ensure the composition of the board reflects fresh skills and insights, and each director should earn the right to be on the board.

Speakers:
Robert E. Hallagan
Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Board Leadership Services, Korn/Ferry International

John A. Krol
Chairman, Delphi Automotive; Director, Tyco International

This summary provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Power Breakfast: CEO Succession Planning

October 18th, 2013 | By

What happens when a CEO suddenly exits? Is there a plan in place for his or her succession? This panel discussed best practices and trends in how boards are addressing CEO succession scenarios. Because the CEO position is highly visible—the face of the company—CEO succession is a hot governance topic and the bar for this board responsibility is high. Boards must be prepared to deal with various situations: some CEOs may unexpectedly exit with little to no notice, while others might plan their retirement years in advance. The board must understand its options and play the appropriate role given the situation.

Highlights:
1. There is a high failure rate with external CEOs. It’s important to build an internal bench and have an internal candidate development planning process as an option. If your board doesn’t have one, consider putting one into place. This is not just about choosing the next CEO; it’s a way to measure internal talent.

2. Succession planning is an ongoing process. Talent oversight is one of the most important board responsibilities. The CEO is the “chief talent officer,” but the board should oversee the process.

3. Approach the process as “executive development” for as long as possible before the search gets to the “horse race” stage. Development doesn’t stop after you make your decision.

Speakers:
Joseph E. Griesedieck
Vice Chairman, Korn/Ferry International

Dave Heine
Executive Vice President, Board and C-Suite Practice, Leadership and Talent Consulting, Korn/Ferry International

This summary provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers.