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Europe lacks non-execs with digital knowledge

 


Financial Times | October 8, 2015


The Financial Times article, "Europe lacks non-execs with digital knowledge," cites a Russell Reynolds Associates' survey which points out that the FTSE 100 has only four "highly digital" boards, defined as those with two or more directors with serious digital experience. The following is an excerpt of the article.

A mere 1 per cent of NEDs at Europe's top 100 companies have proven digital experience compared with 8 per cent in the US, executive search consultancy Russell Reynolds found when it reviewed the digital experience of US Fortune 100 board directors and their peers in Europe and Asia.

Russell Reynolds points out that the FTSE 100 has only four "highly digital" boards, defined as those with two or more directors with serious digital experience: Burberry, EasyJet, Sky and ARM. The boards of Britain's smaller companies are even less digitally savvy.

Since the survey, there have been some significant digital appointments, for example, Erik Engstrom at Smith & Nephew and Shazam's executive chairman Andrew Fisher joining the board of Moneysupermarket.com. But Rhys Grossman of Russell Reynolds warns: "We urgently need more digital leaders to ensure UK business can best compete on the world stage."

Somewhat surprisingly, given technology's sparsity of female leaders, companies have appointed a disproportionate number of women as their digitally skilled NEDs. Russell Reynolds found that almost a third of the digital NEDs of the world's biggest companies were women, compared with an 18 per cent average for women at board level, across all disciplines.

To read the full article, click here.

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Europe lacks non-execs with digital knowledge