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Board Stiff

Publication Date: 
May 29, 2009
The New Yorker
James Surowiecki

Professor Ronald J. Gilson is quoted in The New Yorker in a story about how boards of directors of corporations might best serve their shareholders:’s time to revive an idea that was first floated by the corporate-law scholars Ronald Gilson and Reinier Kraakman, who proposed that big institutional investors create a cadre of full-time directors, people whose only job would be to sit on corporate boards and look after shareholder value. Most board members, accomplished as they may be in their real jobs, are amateurs when it comes to being directors. So it shouldn’t surprise us when they get buffaloed or pushed around by C.E.O.s, who are professionals. Right now, boards are made up of moonlighters. And, if the last few years have shown anything, it’s that protecting shareholder interests is a full-time job.