Work Poll: Clean Yer Boards

With corporate scandals in the news once again (see Nortel Gets Federal Subpoena), looks like a good time to check in with the members of our audience in Light Reading's latest Work Poll.

There's plenty of buck-passing going on with many of these scandals. Okay, so shunting responsibility is never a really good idea. But what about the grown-ups that are supposed to be minding the shop – the board of directors?

We used our latest poll on employment issues to ask about role and composition of boards, and we found most folks wanting in new procedures. For example:

Fifty-eight percent of the people who have taken the poll so far agree that an independent body should investigate the board of a scandal-plagued company, and that those responsible should be removed. This compares with 31 percent who think the directors should resign, since the scandal happened on their watch, and 12 percent who would give them the benefit of the doubt.

The results also show:

  • Sixty-eight percent of respondents say a company's board should notify the proper authorities and hold regular conference calls with shareholders at the first sign of trouble. Twenty-three percent advise patience, while 12 percent want to see rolling heads.
  • "Objectivity," with 42 percent of votes, and "experience," with 31 percent of votes, are the most attractive qualities in a board member – although "dimples" can also help, according to another 8 percent.
  • A majority of voters (69 percent) think venture capitalists are valuable on the board but should not control the future of the company.

To take this poll and see the results in detail, simply click here.

— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

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