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Heads or Tails? The Art and Science of Executive Compensation


September 18, 2014 7:30am - 9:30am

Room 180

7:30am - 8:00am: Continental Breakfast
8:00am - 9:30am: Program

About the event: All directors are keenly aware of their responsibility in setting executive and CEO compensation. Increased external pressure on -- and opinions about -- CEO pay and more crowded meeting agendas limit the available time for meaningful discussion and make this role more challenging than ever. The stakes in getting executive compensation right are high, with real opportunities to engage leadership and drive business results, but also with real risks of poor outcomes.  

One side argues that compensation programs should line up with peers, trends and investor policies and guidelines to motivate executives and gain say-on-pay approvals. Another side argues that uniquely differentiated programs tied to the business are the only best practice to consider.  

Drawing on their experience in executive pay and related governance, the panelists discussed what's happening today and on the horizon in executive pay, just in time before compensation committees begin their work for the next year's executive pay programs.

Our Panel: 

Ken Coleman photo Ken Coleman is chairman of Saama Technologies, a pure-play data and analytics services and solutions company focused on solving the business insight challenges of the world's leading brands. He also currently serves as a special advisor to Andreessen Horowitz and advises Pinterest.  Ken is a member of the board of directors of AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Insurance Exchange, City National Bank, United Online and Entertainment Partners. He is a member of the advisory board of the Ohio State University Business School. Ken's business career has included ITM Software; Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI); Activision and Hewlett-Packard.

Nora Denzel photo Nora Denzel is an independent public board director, Silicon Valley technical executive and keynote speaker. Her current board positions include AMD, Ericsson, Outerwall and Saba Software. A successful high-tech executive, Nora has significant expertise in growing and scaling global businesses by motivating large organizations across a broad range of areas, with experience in software, M&A, big data, social product design and marketing. Nora's career has included leadership roles at Intuit, Hewlett-Packard, Legato Systems (now EMC) and IBM.

Una Ryan photo Una Ryan is chair of the Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative (BAB), managing director of Golden Seeds (Silicon Valley) and a partner in Astia Angel. She has a portfolio of 25 start-ups in the Bay Area. Her current board positions include AMRI (NASDAQ), RenovoRx, Bioarray Therapeutics, BayBio and Bell Biosystems. In addition, she has been a board member of numerous healthcare and policy institutes, councils and centers. Una's business leadership has included Diagnostics For All, Inc. (DFA); Waltham Technologies, Inc. and AVANT Immunotherapeutics, Inc.


Susan Stemper photo

Susan Stemper is a managing director with Pearl Meyer & Partners in San Francisco where she advises corporate boards and executive teams on executive and board compensation and related governance matters. Susan works extensively with emerging and growth companies in the biotechnology and technology sectors.