Survey Finds Increase in Independent Directors

September 28, 2007 ( - The latest survey by Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of 160 leading U.S. companies, found an increase in the number of independent directors serving on corporate boards and a significant rise in the number of companies that have adopted majority voting for directors.

A press release said 90% of Business Roundtable companies report that their boards were at least 80% independent in 2007. In 2006, 87% of companies reported board independence of 80% or more. The percentage of companies that have adopted majority voting procedures for directors has risen from low levels to 82% in just two years.

Other survey findings, according to the press release, include:

  • Nearly half (48%) of CEOs serve on only one other public company board, while 27% of CEOs do not serve on any other public company boards.
  • 38% of companies responded that board members have met with shareholders in the last year.
  • Spending on compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley appears to continue to decline. About 50% of companies expect costs to decrease moderately in light of the SEC’s interpretive guidance and the PCAOB’s Auditing Standard No.5; 31% expect costs to remain about the same, and only 2% expect an increase.
  • 40% of companies reported adjusting the pay-for-performance element of senior executive compensation in the past year, in addition to the 57% that reported doing so in 2006.

More about Business Roundtable can be found at .