Corporate Directors Get Older, Hold Their Seats Longer

Directors are getting older and holding their seats longer. Fewer than 1 percent face term limits
Photo illustration by 731; Photograph by Lambert/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Michael Jeffries’s penchant for having the male crew on Abercrombie & Fitch’s corporate jet wear the retailer’s boxer briefs, flip-flops, and cologne certainly hasn’t hurt the chief executive officer’s standing with his board. Directors awarded Jeffries total compensation of $48 million in 2011. Jeffries was paid $8.2 million for 2012, a year in which some shoppers grew tired of its trendy fashions and the company’s shares fell as much as 41 percent to a closing low on Aug. 2. That’s not exactly the slap one might think. Under the terms of the CEO’s pay package, the board wasn’t allowed to give him lucrative stock options because shareholder value had decreased. Yet the directors increased all other aspects of his compensation where they had discretion to act. Plus, the board, including four outside directors who are 68 or older and have served for close to a decade or longer, agreed to pay Jeffries $107 million should it decide to replace him.

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