The Spencer Stuart 2012 Houston Board Index examines trends in board composition, practices and compensation among Houston’s leading companies. The 83 companies included in the index were featured in the Houston Chronicle’s “List of Top 100 Companies,” have their headquarters in the Houston area, and are publicly traded on one of the major stock exchanges (NYSE or NASDAQ).
Among the highlights of this year’s Houston Board Index:
- Houston companies added eight new women to boards in the past year, but still significantly lag the S&P 500 in percentage of female directors (8.4% vs. 17%). Fifty-four percent of Houston companies have at least one female director, and 13% have two or more. This compares to 91% and 62%, respectively, for S&P 500 companies.
- Thirty-six of the 83 companies listed added a total of 49 new independent directors in 2012. Our analysis suggests that directors added earlier this decade as a result of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and new stock exchange requirements are now beginning to retire, fueling the overall upward trend in director recruiting over the past four years.
- 61% of Houston boards have a mandatory retirement age, compared with 73% of the S&P 500.
- Forty-seven of 83 (57%) Houston companies separate the chairman and chief executive officer roles, compared with 43% of S&P 500 companies.
- The average tenure for Houston directors is 9.2 years (versus 8.6 for S&P 500 directors), with 77 individuals having served more than 20 years on their respective boards.
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