3 Challenges of Landing a Global Board Seat

by FEI Daily Staff

Serving on a board is an extremely valuable position. But what prevents more executives from scoring a coveted seat?


Boardroom Service

When speaking with CFOs at FEI networking events, nine out of 10 stated they wished to serve on a public company board. However, finding your first public board seat can be extremely difficult and, in an era of shareholder activism where public boardrooms are being challenged from outside forces daily, getting invited to serve on  a board is becoming tougher.

Slower global economic growth, combined with dismal S&P 500, FTSE 100 earnings and growing shareholder activism are all new pressures facing public company boards.

Why is it so Hard to Get on a Public Board?

Put simply, available board seats have become more valuable. Turnover is extremely low, and when it takes place, S&P500 board members typically sit on multiple boards, with 31 percent serving on two or more boards. Whenever new candidates are invited onto the boardroom, 80-90 percent of candidates come from “referrals” within a small network.  Current board members ask their colleagues who they’d like to recommend onto the boardroom.

CFO Compensation – Why Serve on a Board
  • CFO Pay Median pay for S&P 500 CFOs serving on an outside board of directors is $3.4 Million vs. $3.10 for those not serving a board (Equilar Study).
  • Corporate Governance CFOs serving on an outside board increase “corporate governance” education and they gain a greater understanding of the board’s function.
  • Stock Correlation Three-year study of S&P 500 companies where the CFOs served on an outside board showed that they performed 19.2% more effectively than their peers at 15.2% where the CFO didn’t serve an outside board (Equilar Study).
Yusuf’s GBAC CFO Series


In upcoming articles:

  • How to network effectively with Board Chairmen.
  • According to Global 500, FTSE 100 & Fortune 1000 Chairmen:
    • What makes a Successful CFO in the Boardroom?
    • Preparing your boardroom packages; Boardroom Bio vs. Boardroom resume
  • How to earn that precious Boardroom seat and achieve general effective communication within the boardroom.
Yusuf Azizullah is a FEI Board Leader at the Washington D.C Chapter, Founder and CEO of Global Board Advisors Corp (GBAC). He can be reached at and on Twitter @yusuf_11