Knowledge Center: Publication
Chief Executive Officer & Board of Directors
2013 Board Of Directors Survey3/17/2014 Bonnie W. Gwin
This year’s edition of the annual Board of Directors Survey conducted by Heidrick & Struggles and WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) represents both a real departure from previous surveys and the latest chapter in an ongoing story. Where prior studies provided a comprehensive view of board trends and perspectives across a wide range of issues in governance, strategy, and commercial and economic conditions, this year’s survey focuses sharply on three critical issues of leadership succession.
First, given the vast amount of attention devoted in recent years to one of the board’s central responsibilities – appointing the Chief Executive Officer – we wanted to know how boards are responding in practice. Second, we looked at leadership transitions on the board itself, including its committees. Third, we asked directors whether the companies they oversee are helping groom diverse executives for service on external boards in the future.
Though the focus is narrower, our purpose remains the same: to discern convergences and divergences of directors’ perspectives by gender and geography, and to consider the findings in light of the often elusive goal of board diversity. Most importantly, we offer our assessment of the findings against best practices in leadership succession. Drawn from a universe of more than 900 directors from 44 countries, this year’s study offers significant findings and practical guidance that directors can use to see where their boards stand on this critical area of board performance today.