1. The Age of the Activist Investor: Do Corporate Boards need to be more Independent?

    The Age of the Activist Investor: Do Corporate Boards need to be more Independent?

    Nike spokesman Greg Rossiter said its corporate governance guidelines state board members represent the interests of all shareholders. “These standards for board members also include independence, character, ethics, diversity and an ability to devote substantial time to board responsibilities.” ...

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    1. Activist investors are flexing their muscle and they know they can.
    2. Research suggests it does more harm than good. It doesn't add value as a director. They will presumably back the family position.
    3. We added the lead director position in 2017 to continue to maintain a strong independent director in a board leadership role at times when we have determined it is appropriate to have a board chair that is not independent.
    4. While our bylaws and corporate governance guidelines do not require that our chairman and chief executive officer positions be separate, the board believes that having separate positions and having an independent outside director serve as chairman is the appropriate leadership structure at this time.
    5. Evidence shows it is a compromise a lot of companies have come to.
    6. If the CEO is really powerful but the lead director isn't, then it isn't that effective.
    7. We coach boards to think like activists.
    8. Board composition is a big issue. Being a board member is no longer a lifetime exercise.
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