Analysis Of 100 Largest US Companies By Market Cap Finds Few 'Digital Directors' Yet Added To Boards

    Analysis Of 100 Largest US Companies By Market Cap Finds Few 'Digital
                        Directors' Yet Added To Boards

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 16, 2013

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite all the talk of digital
executives joining boards, leading companies have actually been adding very
few executives with digital expertise to their boards, according to Korn/Ferry
International's Korn/Ferry Market Cap^100 (KFMC^100), an annual study of the
boards of the largest US companies by market capitalization.

The report's key findings regarding digital expertise include the following:

  oOf the 1,181 board seats on the 100 boards, there are 211 digital
    directors. More than half have been or are currently CEOs; most are male
    (88 percent); and they are slightly younger than their non-tech
    counterparts (61 versus 63).
  oCurrently, they are concentrated in a few sectors: on the boards of
    technology, services, and consumer goods companies.
  oDirectors with technology backgrounds are being added to these boards at
    about the same rate as those from marketing and at less than half the rate
    of those with finance or audit, COO, or public policy experience.

Ultimately, the report concludes, recruiting and retaining a digital director,
much like success in attracting any other expertise to the board, are the
result of a rigorous strategic process. Boards that take the time to think
through their specific needs, assess the skills and experiences prescribed by
broad governance requirements, and then plan for how best to leverage digital
expertise will be well positioned to provide oversight with an eye to the

The report was issued by three Vice Chairmen of Korn/Ferry International and
leaders of the firm's Board and Services Practice: Dennis Carey, Robert
Hallagan, and Stephen Mader. The authors undertook in-depth interviews with
three veteran directors – computer industry pioneer Rick Crandall, current
director of RR Donnelley and Diebold; Jeff Epstein, Operating Partner,
Bessemer Ventures, former CFO of Oracle, and current director for Priceline
and Kaiser Permanente; and Bonnie Hill, long-time lead director of Home Depot
– who share views on defining, recruiting, and leveraging digital expertise
for the board.

In addition to the analysis of digital expertise on boards, the KFMC^100 also
includes more general findings based on an analysis of proxy and governance
statements, including:

  oA drop in diversity. Ninety percent of new directors are white compared
    with 77 percent of this group in 2011. Moreover, diversity has dropped in
    virtually every category year-over-year: The percentage of new women
    directors dropped from 27 to 23; African-Americans from 11 percent to 6
    percent; Asians from 7 percent to 1 percent; and Hispanics from 4 percent
    to 3 percent. Only international diversity has increased, with new,
    non-American directors representing 20 percent of recruits, up from 16
    percent in 2011.
  oGlobal gains. There has been an increase in new directors with
    international work experience (38 percent vs. 29 percent) as well as new
    directors with an international personal background, having been born
    and/or educated abroad (27 percent vs. 16 percent).
  oIndustry experience is actively sought. The biggest jump in
    industry/functional experience was on boards specifically seeking
    experience in their company's sector. That represented 54 percent of new
    directors compared with only 33 percent in 2011. Other desirable
    backgrounds include operating experience either as COO (30 percent vs. 18
    percent) or CEO (41 percent vs. 37 percent).
  oGovernment experience reaches a new high. For the Class of 2012, the
    number of new directors coming from the public sector climbed to 23
    percent from 18 percent the previous year.

For copies of the KFMC^100:

About Korn/Ferry International
Korn/Ferry International is a premier global provider of talent management
solutions, with a presence throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the
Middle East and Africa. The firm delivers solutions and resources that help
clients cultivate greatness through the design, building, and attraction of
their talent. Visit for more information on Korn/Ferry
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SOURCE Korn/Ferry International

Contact: Stacy Levyn, 310-556-8502,
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