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The Activist Director: Lessons from the Boardroom and the Future of the Corporation

The Activist Director: Lessons from the Boardroom and the Future of the Corporation

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  • Ira Millstein
  • Columbia Business School Publishing
  • Paperback
  • 9780231181358
  • 8.2 X 5.1 X 0.6 inches
  • 0.6 pounds
  • Business & Economics > Corporate Governance
  • English
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Book Description

Some of the worst corporate meltdowns over the past sixty years can be traced to passive directors who favored operational shortcuts over quality growth strategies. Thinking primarily about placating institutional investors, selective stockholders, proxy advisors, and corporate management, these inattentive and deferential board members have relied on short-term share price increases to sustain their companies long term. Driven by a desire for prosperity, not posterity, these actions can doom any company.

In The Activist Director, attorney Ira M. Millstein looks back at fifty years of counseling companies, nonprofits, and governments to actively govern their corporations and constituencies. From the threat of bankruptcy and the ConEd blackout of 1970s New York City, to the meltdown of Drexel Burnham Lambert in the late 1980s, to the turnaround of General Motors in the mid-1990s, Millstein takes readers into the boardrooms of several of the greatest catastrophes and success stories of America's best-known corporations.

His solution lies at the top: a new breed of activist directors who partner with management and reject short-term outlooks, plan a future based on growth and innovation, and take responsibility for corporate organization, strategy, and efficiency. What questions should we ask of potential board members and how do we know they'll be active? Millstein offers pragmatic suggestions for recruiting activist directors to the boardroom to secure the future of the corporation.

The Activist Director: Lessons from the Boardroom and the Future of the Corporation

Author Bio

Ira M. Millstein is the founding chair of the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School and author of The Activist Director: Lessons from the Boardroom and the Future of the Corporation (Columbia University Press, December 2016). Mr. Millstein is also a senior partner at the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where he practices in the areas of government regulation and antitrust law and counsels boards on issues of corporate governance.

Mr. Millstein was formerly Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School, as well as the former senior associate dean for corporate governance and the Theodore Nierenberg Adjunct Professor of Corporate Governance at the Yale School of Management. A graduate of Columbia Law School, Mr. Millstein is a life trustee and former chairman of the board of the Central Park Conservancy; chairman emeritus and member of the Board of Overseers of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the American Red Cross of Greater New York. He serves on the Advisory Council of Transparency International.

Among many distinguished positions and roles, Mr. Millstein has served as chairman of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Business Sector Advisory Group on Corporate Governance, where he was instrumental in the development of the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance; co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Audit Committees (sponsored by the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers); and chairman of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Blue Ribbon Commission on Director Professionalism.  He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Mr. Millstein is also a dedicated member of the Board of Directors of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Most recently, Mr. Millstein has played a key role in the reform of New York State’s numerous public authorities, serving at the request of Governors Pataki, Paterson and Cuomo, and as chairman of various task forces charged with overseeing successful implementation of the new public authorities’ laws.

Mr. Millstein is a frequent lecturer and author on corporate governance, antitrust, and government regulation. 

 

Source: Ira M Millstein Center, Columbia Law School 

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