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Director Roundtable: Refreshing the Board - Introducing new skills to the boardroom

In collaboration with:

 Egon Zehnder

Directors increasingly need to understand new business models, technologies, and markets. The question has been asked how that can be accomplished with such low board turnover. Raj Gupta and Shelly Lazarus discuss their views and experiences with concepts like director evaluation, term limits, and skills matrixes, and why refreshing the board matters for the future of US business.


Raj L. Gupta, Executive Chairman, Avantor™ Performance Materials; Senior Advisor, New Mountain Capital; Director, Delphi Automotive,  Hewlett-Packard Company, IRI, Stroz Friedberg, The Vanguard Group, Tyco; Trustee, The Conference Board; Former Chairman and CEO, Rohm and Haas Company
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Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather; Director, General Electric, Merck, The Blackstone Group
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Kim A. Van Der Zon, Partner; Head of US Board Practice, Egon Zehnder International
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The Discussion


Program Materials

It’s time for Boards to take time for themselves and practice what they preach
August, 2013 | Egon Zehnder International, Inc.
When it comes to planning for their own succession, boards neglect to apply all that they have learned regarding CEO succession. Why?

Board renewal: Taking a fresh look at board composition
August, 2013 | PwC Center for Board Governance
Many boards today are trying to figure out if they have the proper skills and experience to guide their companies now and in the future. Each board needs to consider whether the backgrounds and experience of its existing directors are appropriate or if new skills are needed. Recently, some critics have been outspoken about their perception of deficiencies in the current state of board renewal.

Board Composition, Diversity and Refreshment
June 2013 | Practical Law Journal
Board composition provides the starting point for establishing a strong and effective board. In the past decade, significantly greater attention has been given to the composition of public company boards and the role of independent corporate governance and nominating committees in determining board composition. The increased reliance on independent corporate governance and nominating committees is due to concerns about board nomination processes and procedures and management’s influence on governance decisions.

Corporate Director Selection and Recruitment: A Matrix
May, 2013 | Director Notes
Every board should agree on a clear statement of desired personal attributes for all board members to guide the nominating and governance committee as they search for director candidates. In addition, boards should adopt a clear definition of director independence. Some have proposed that boards use a matrix model to help fine tune thinking about future director needs and compare desired attributes across positions. Using such a model to assess the skills and experience needed and desired in potential directors can inspire thoughtful discussions by the board, leading to better decisions by the nominating and governance committee.

From the NFL to the Boardroom 
August 2012 | NACD Directorship
Corporate boardrooms should take a lesson from the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires teams to consider minority candidates for senior leadership positions.

Women on Boards: Review and Outlook
May, 2012 | Director Notes
This report examines the prevalence of women directors in the Fortune 1000 and an additional 1,000 midcap companies and offers recommendations for boards looking to recruit women directors and for women interested in serving on boards.


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