The Board Book: An Insider's Guide for Directors and Trustees

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9780393066456: The Board Book: An Insider's Guide for Directors and Trustees
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A must-have for first-time and experienced board members alike, who will benefit from William G. Bowen's decades of experience.

Former Mellon Foundation and Princeton University president William G. Bowen has served on the boards of some of the United States's biggest corporations and nonprofits, including American Express, Merck, the Smithsonian, and TIAA-CREF. In The Board Book he brings his immense experience, along with the recollections and insights of numerous colleagues, to bear on the most pressing questions facing boards of directors and trustees today. His topics include the hot-button issues of the relationship between CEOs and board members, "perks," executive compensation, and CEO transitions. In addition, Bowen offers advice on the "machinery" required to run a board effectively, including the uses of committees and executive sessions, the handling of leaks, and the recruitment of new board members. Throughout, Bowen relates, with anecdotes and hard data, strategies that result in the collegiality and sense of purpose that make any board more effective.

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About the Author:

William G. Bowen (1933―2016) was an influential educator and the author of more than twenty books, including Lessons Learned: Reflections of a University President, The Shape of the River, and Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education.

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Former president of Princeton and of the Mellon Foundation, coauthor or author of more than 20 books, and a Fortune 500 corporation director, Bowen deserves to overhaul his 1994 The Board Book. In his review of board roles and responsibilities, CEO evaluations, transitions, compensation, and leadership, among other topics, he minces no words in forcefully expressing his opinions. Corporate America must pay attention to succession planning and how the CEO is paid. Board members need to be chosen not only for their background but for their courage and will to act. The lead director is an important and emerging role model to be emulated. With his words and advice exampled by such well-known corporate leaders as Hanna Gray, Thomas Neff, Larry Bossidy, and Lou Gerstner, Bowen’s facts and straightforward narrative make a compelling and critical read for wannabe directors—and for every student of corporate affairs. --Barbara Jacobs

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