Trewstar Corporate Board Services

I have a heretical proposition: the movement against “overboarding” is overblown.

March 07, 2018

A few years ago, I was on a panel with an older man – a director on four boards – who introduced me to this proposition. When he was challenged to defend his ability to properly commit to each board, he shot back that the “hobby directors” with one board apiece could not possibly keep up with the latest trends and issues facing corporate America. The real issue, he proposed, was “underboarding.”

Consider this profile: A 60-year-old woman, recently retired from a C-Suite operating role at a Fortune 100 tech company. Within 9 months of “retirement,” she had joined three public company boards – an East coast defense technology firm, a West coast hardware and software technology firm, and the most recent, an East coast IT services company. Should investors support that candidate – who is used to a 60+ hour work week and the constant stimulation of her job – or the fully-retired director on a single board, who tunes in and out of corporate life?

I know one recently retired CFO who now sits on three public company boards and the boards of a few private start-ups. Accustomed to the pace of the C-Suite, he bemoans the fact that he has too much time to walk the dog.

Recently retired executives have enormous ability and a drive to stay current. Tapping that energy makes everyone a winner.


Beth Stewart
Founder and CEO
Trewstar Corporate Board Services