Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The Board Blog notices that public company IAC/Interactive Corp has named 31 year-old Chelsea Clinton to its board. The blog delicately asks whether Ms. Clinton is a qualified "independent" director or a "celebrity". The answer seems obvious to me.
My question: Where are the governance ninnies that normally emerge to torture actually experienced directors over their qualifications to assert genuine oversight of management?
More to the point, Clinton's attractiveness as a director is a function of the political clout of her parents, suggesting precisely the unholy alliance between corporate America and government that both the Tea Party and the "Occupy" mob claim they oppose. Where is the outrage?
I think the Tea Party is pretty outraged about stuff like this, thanks. Not that I have any authority to speak for them.
If I were to hazard a guess at their POV in general, it would be that Democrats have been this way for at least 25 years, though they have lived off rhetoric that suggests otherwise. Failing to notice this corporate tool behavior usually leads to refusal to acknowledge the corruption that comes with it. Not all who go to the money are crooks, but all the crooks will go to the money. Polite statements against corporate corruption have been made by the Republicans for years, but the Tea Party has actually kept track and taken a chance on less-connected, but less-beholden candidates. The far left of the Democrats is beginning to get that it's their own guys who are the main problem, not just an unfortunate throw-in to corporate corruption.
Only when they drop the idea that it's not really a problem when it's Democrats grab a little will they have the stones to regulate honestly.
John Sununu tried to tell you, but you refused to see.
Maybe I've just become jaded after years and years of reading corporate proxies, but this sort of thing doesn't really make me raise an eyebrow. So many boards are packed with family members, friends, and connections that it's hardly a surprise to see yet another example. Besides, while Ms. Clinton may not have the depth of experience to make her an ideal board member, she does, at least, have some relevant experience, having spent a few years as a McKinsey consultant and then later having worked at a hedge fund. With that experience, she should at least know enough to understand most of the financial documents she'd be expected to review, and she'd be able to ask some intelligent questions about corporate governance and strategy.
wv: addloan--now, if they start making "loans" to their directors (and of course some corporations do), that might really raise some eyebrows.