How many boards can an experienced director participate on and still remain effective? I’ve known (and placed) brilliant board members and directors and realize that most are quite adept at performing the role for more than a single organization. But is there an upper-end limit?
In the life sciences industry, the goal is to save and/or improve life. We need boards with senior-level executives holding current and actual life sciences industry experience. Period. This is especially true for development stage companies. But when a board director -- or a key leader in almost any other role -- takes on too much, are we limiting their effectiveness? And are we hindering the industry’s opportunity to bring in more diversity, more executives from different cultures with diverse backgrounds? In other words, when we see the same names seating on board after board in the life sciences industry, are we limiting our potential to really be all that our industry can be?
Vanguard Group last week announced its position on the topic -- it will vote against any “ corporate executives running for two or more public-company board seats beyond where they are employed.” You can read about it in the link below. I’d love to hear from you -- what do you think? Is there a maximum? Or are board directors the anomalous industry rock stars who really can do more?