by Juliet de Baubigny for Fortune
Many companies put off the task of assembling an effective board until they run into trouble.
Behind every great CEO is a great board, and I’ve noticed that startup founders tend to put off the task of building strong boards. Consider successful tech companies like Amazon AMZN -0.11% and Google GOOG 1.07% that built their boards early on. They’re more an exception than the rule, however; more often than not, companies find that there are few, if any, consequences until they run into trouble.
Many boards have gotten into trouble when they think they answer only to the CEO.
After years of advising startups on board management and executive search, I believe that the only true role of the board is to hire and fire the CEO. After all, great boards understand that they are accountable to each other and to company shareholders. Also, great boards are diverse – in thought, background, and perspectives. The statistics bear repeating: Just 10% of Silicon Valley directors are women, and the percentage of VC-backed startups with a female founder or CEO is even lower.
So here are some practical tips for assembling a great board. Read more here.