The U.S. Technology Board Index examines trends in board composition, governance practices and director compensation for 200 top technology companies in the United States. The companies in this index range in size from just less than $400 million in 2011 revenues to more than $125 billion and represent a broad swath of technology businesses. The index compares data from technology companies to the broader S&P 500 as well as a subset of Silicon Valley-based technology companies.
Among the findings included in the index:
- Technology companies, and particularly those based in Silicon Valley, are much more likely to have a separate chairman and CEO than the S&P 500. Sixty-five percent of technology boards and 74 percent of Silicon Valley boards split the roles, compared with 43 percent of S&P 500 boards.
- The majority of technology boards, 60 percent, have at least one woman serving on the board, trailing both Silicon Valley boards (63 percent) and the S&P 500 (91 percent). Women represent 11 percent of the total number of directors on technology boards.
- More than two-thirds of technology companies, 67 percent, elect directors annually, trailing Silicon Valley companies (72 percent) and the S&P 500 (83 percent).
- Forty-five percent of technology companies and 40 percent of Silicon Valley companies disclose a mandatory retirement age for directors. The practice is more common among S&P 500 boards, where 73 percent report having a mandatory retirement age. Among the companies that set one, the average mandatory retirement age is 73 across the board.
- Stock compensation represents about half of director compensation for both Silicon Valley boards and technology boards overall. Option grants make up a larger share of compensation for Silicon Valley boards (25 percent versus 18 percent), while cash fees make up a larger share of compensation for technology companies more broadly (29 percent versus 23 percent).
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