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U.S. companies lead their European and Asian counterparts in attracting board directors with digital savvy, according to a study by executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. Eighty-eight percent of the highly digital boards are in the United States.
Of the 300 companies assessed, 18 had highly digital boards, 69 had digital representation on boards (at least one digital member but not enough to be considered highly digital) and 210 had no digital board members.
Sixteen of the highly digital boards are in the U.S.; nine are companies in the technology sector and seven are from a range of non-technology sectors: Wal-Mart, Berkshire Hathaway, P&G, FedEx, Coca-Cola, Allstate and American Express. Russell Reynolds Associates’ analysis suggests that Europe and Asia lack the strong pool of digital talent regularly funneled into U.S. companies from Silicon Valley.
“In an increasingly digital environment, boards must command a certain level of digital expertise in order to provide counsel to the CEO and ask the right questions of senior management,” said Tuck Rickards, partner at Russell Reynolds Associates and a leader of the digital transformation practice.
The 2012 survey comprised 300 companies in the U.S. Fortune 100, as well as Global Fortune 500 companies in Europe and Asia.