Why Committee Chairs are Becoming the Foundation to Board Success

Inside America's Boardrooms
Aside: Jan was recently interviewed for Diligent's new book, Governance in the Digital Age.

Over the years, more and more work has been assigned to board committees-and thus more responsibility has been placed on board committee chairs. As board agendas become packed with compliance responsibilities, the 'whole board' must allocate more time to regulatory issues. But the rise in committee delegation has also contributed to great strides within board governance. As today's boards adopt more effective models of leadership, we're seeing the role of committee chairs evolve.

[blockquote source="Jan Babiak, Audit Committee Chair, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc."]Chairing a committee today is about being the rosetta stone between the board, the committee, and management.[/blockquote]

In this episode, we welcome international board veteran Jan Babiak, who currently serves on the board of Walgreens (now known as Walgreens Boots Alliance). As an audit committee chair with cyber risk experience, Babiak discusses the improvements she's witnessed at the board-level following the 2008 financial crisis. Host TK Kerstetter asks her several questions about how the structure of board committees is evolving:

  • Why should investors feel more confident about today's boards?
  • Is it true that more work is migrating to board committees (as opposed to the whole board)?
  • How has the role of today's committee chairs evolved?
  • How comfortable are today's committee chairs with shareholder engagement?
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