A spot on a corporate board can be a plum post. It means compensation, usually stock, and often cash. Other perks include invaluable connections to fellow board members and executives, along with a profile boost in one’s given industry.
But the job comes with drawbacks—public scrutiny, the potential for lawsuits, and of course an added time commitment. With regulators focusing more closely on the role of directors at public companies, and with activist investors circling, more candidates invited to join corporate boards are doing what was once unthinkable: They’re saying no.