The hottest topic in many corporate boardrooms today is shareholder activism—or more specifically, the vulnerability of becoming the target of a shareholder activist and what to do about it. Instead of looking at this as something to dread or, worse, have to defend against, boards of directors should be proactive about getting out ahead of it. As insiders, we are in a better position to act on our fiduciary responsibility to represent the interests of shareholders than is an independent party, and we have more tools and power at our disposal to do so. Done right, this might result in some healthy, but managed changes.
HBR fictionalized case studies present dilemmas faced by leaders in real companies and offer solutions from experts.
"Sarah is a director of a Real Estate Investment Trust whose CEO has expressed his admiration of her intellect and drive for information, but board meetings have become tense recently."
Read the Case Study and both Ilene S. Gordon and Sue Decker's expert opinions which follow.