publications by betsy

The role of the board has expanded significantly from the 1970’s traditionally less engaged oversight model where directors provided “rubber stamping” of management recommendations. A modern board must be a competitive asset and an accelerant for the business. Directors must not only...

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Increasingly corporations are being asked to comment on social and political issues. This raises a host of questions that the company needs to purposefully think about. There are many constituencies who are asking a company’s CEO and leadership teams to comment on...

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Betsy Atkins, board member for Wynn Las Vegas and Volvo Car Group, explores prominent risks for corporate boards. Which major risk areas are public company boards preparing for at this time? Cybersecurity is a major risk area right now for public company...

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The nature of CEO communication on social topics over the last two years has significantly changed. The event of George Floyds death and emerging movement of Black Lives Matter was a major catalyst for change following on the heels of the business...

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The dawn of corporate governance goes back to the 1930s when US corporations first began selling stocks to a wider set of owners. We have seen many changes in corporate governance over the decades. There are 4 major eras of corporate governance....

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Every year there is a shift in corporate governance standards, in an effort to evolve along with the rapidly changing business landscape and stay aligned with the shifting priorities of all stakeholders. I encourage boards to kick off 2022 by evaluating these corporate governance topics:  ...

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This is the first time in history when significant changes in US taxation are intertwined with a global tax reform effort. The interconnection of national and international tax restructuring results in a very complex environment that creates a lot of uncertainty for...

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Fast-growing startups are often building the plane while flying it, but the most successful ones are those that are genuinely focused on delivering value to all of their key stakeholders. Too often, we’ve seen founders consumed by the wrong things - ones...

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It’s that time of year again…Proxy Season! If your company is registered with the SEC you are likely very busy preparing and reviewing proxy statements required for the annual meeting so your shareholders can vote on all the matters presented to them....

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Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) IPOs have generated a lot of buzz recently, and for good reason: 242 SPACs were launched in 2020 alone. SPACs aren’t anything new; they’ve been around since at least the 90s. You may even remember that Burger King was...

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Every year there is a shift in corporate governance standards, in an effort to evolve along with the rapidly changing business landscape and stay aligned with the shifting priorities of all stakeholders. In 2020 boards management found they could redefine their work life balance but were...

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Boards have woken up and begun to focus on attracting, retaining, engaging and rewarding millennials but let’s get ahead of things. The next key group that boards and companies need to think about is Gen Z. I recently had the opportunity to...

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One of the very interesting topics Directors are hearing about is a liquidity structure called a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company). As Directors get invited to join Boards of SPACs or do their diligence if a SPAC is right for their private...

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Every year there is a shift in corporate governance standards in an effort to evolve along with the rapidly changing business landscape and stay aligned with the shifting priorities of investors. I encourage boards to kick off 2020 by evaluating these corporate...

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Facebook fine and recent court ruling highlight need for board oversight By Betsy Atkins and Cindy Moehring After a year-long investigation into Facebook’s privacy missteps, the Federal Trade Commission levied an unprecedented $5 billion fine against the tech giant. In addition to...

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A well-executed IPO is an exciting milestone, but can be one of the most difficult tasks undertaken by CEOs and CFOs. Taking the right steps prior to initial public offering can help ease the transition from private to public and increase the...

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There has been a lot of reaction to the Business Roundtables “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” where 180 CEO’s signed a statement on companies being responsive and committed to delivering value not only to shareholders but to all stakeholders including...

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When we think about public companies, it is of course a given that they will require a board of directors. When we think about investor-backed companies—whether via private equity or venture capital—the board is frequently made up of mostly investors, and occasionally...

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Renowned Tech Industry Leader to Collaborate with Company Executives Transforming Customers’ Businesses Worldwide Through Software SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GlobalLogic Inc., a leader in digital product engineering, today announced that Betsy Atkins has been appointed as the company’s new Chairman of the Board....

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The Wall Street Journal reported on July 23rd that The Justice Department has opened a broad antitrust review into whether or not giant tech firms such as Facebook, Google and Amazon are unlawfully hindering competition. The goal of this review is to analyze the practices...

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What common mistakes do board candidates make?  Who are the corporate leaders that board members look to as role models? Is a nonprofit board seat a viable stepping-stone to public board service? Veteran board member and entrepreneur Betsy Atkins was asked so...

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By: Lindsay Frost Board directors spend an average of 248 hours per year on board-related matters, according to the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), and this time commitment is only increasing as directors’ responsibilities expand to areas such as strategy and shareholder relations...

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The Facebook CEO/Chairman debate has come into clear focus at the recent annual shareholders meeting where 68% of outside shareholders supported a proposal to make the role of Chairman an independent position after voicing concern and disapproval over how CEO and Chairman,...

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By: Jennifer Williams-Alvarez  A board director’s main responsibilities include attending and preparing for board meetings, setting exec compensation, keeping the CEO position filled with an adequate candidate and generally fulfilling fiduciary duties to shareholders. A more unwelcome aspect of the job, but...

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Joining a board of directors sometimes has the connotation that it’s an easy job you accept after retiring from your career. People tend to think that board members just play golf and show up to quarterly meetings to review the board package,...

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By Maynard Webb  When I talk with people about their career dreams, I often hear about two distinct paths: moving up the ladder to the executive suite and ultimately the board room or starting one’s own thing and being a founder and...

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I am a 3-time CEO, serial entrepreneur & Founder of Baja Ventures. I co-founded Technology, CPG and Energy Companies. I am a corporate governance expert with an eye for making boards a competitive asset. My corporate board experience is vast and covers...

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Bezos allegations of blackmail against AMI, the parent company of the Enquirer are splashed across the news.  As a veteran of 28 public boards and many more private companies I’ve seen my share of drama and this situation makes me wonder, what...

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The recent departure of two Snap executives is just the tip of the corporate culture iceberg. Snap has been plagued by corporate governance issues such as inappropriate relationships, short-lived C-level executives, imperious leadership, FBI/DOJ/SEC investigations, and class action lawsuits. The most recent...

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Each year, corporate governance changes with the times and the priorities of investors. This year's governance checklist shares updates on three issues from last year, along with a number of new challenges. In this post, veteran director Betsy Atkins encourages companies (and...

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Each year corporate governance changes with the times and the needs of investors. This year there are several trends corporate board should be looking at in order to stay ahead of the changes. 1. Diversity: This will be the year for gender diversity...

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