Knowledge Center: Video

CEO Focus

What CEOs learn from board roles: An interview with Duncan Penny, former CEO of XP Power and NED of the Vitec Group

3/3/2021 Sharon Sands

For our new video series, “What CEOs learn from board roles,” Heidrick & Struggles’ Sharon Sands speaks with Duncan Penny, the recently retired CEO of XP Power, a developer and manufacturer of power components for the electronics industry, and non-executive director of the Vitec Group, a provider of image capture and content solutions technology. Penny, who joined the Vitec Group’s board after 15 years as CEO, shares how the board role influenced his day job—the benefits of learning how another board was run and being exposed to other non-executive directors who were often also re-serving CEOs. He also discusses the benefits and challenges of working in a different industry, the differences in how diversity and inclusion initiatives are addressed in the boardroom versus the executive suite, and offers some advice for executives taking on their first board role.

Sharon Sands ( is the leader of Leadership Development, Assessment, and Coaching for Heidrick Consulting and a member of the CEO & Board Practice; she is based in Heidrick & Struggles’ London office.

Sharon Sands Partner +44 20 70754000