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More on CEO Pay and Boards of Directors

posted by Nell Minow

My other job is in the news:
Interview in Business Week with Maria Bartiromo:

With regard to the subprime mess, compensation was structured so that people were paid based on the number of transactions rather than the quality of transaction. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that that is going to lead to disaster.

Washington Post article on the failure of boards of directors:

“Corporate governance is about managing risk. It’s about incentive compensation. It’s about corporate strategy and sustainability. And all of those things are what the boards failed to do,” said Nell Minow, a co-founder of the Corporate Library and an advocate of reforming corporate boards.

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And in Bloomberg about the new pay restrictions:

“There’s a political climate here to support tarring and feathering, said Nell Minow, an expert on corporate governance who founded and edits the Corporate Library. Officials may describe any changes in rules as a strengthening of the restrictions, Minow said.

A nice interview on AOL’s Daily Finance site, which says “As the co-founder of The Corporate Library, Nell Minow has done more to raise awareness about shareholder rights than just about anyone in history.”
Zac Bissonnette: You’ve been crusading against corporate governance problems for a long time. How much of the current financial debacle can be blamed on bad corporate governance?
Nell Minow: It takes a village to create a disaster as broad and deep as this one and there is plenty of blame to go around. But poor corporate governance is at the heart of it. Boards are supposed to manage risk, tie pay to performance, and make sure that the corporate strategy is directed at sustainable growth. They failed on all counts. Indeed, they agreed to pay packages with incentives that all but guaranteed this result and to corporate influence in Washington that short-circuited oversight from regulators and from the market itself.

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