The WJS’s interactive graph on the 4,500 directors in the S&P 500 provides an interesting compilation of the hot topics of the day, including the number of women on boards, director independence, director age and tenure and pay. It also allows for those metrics to be view on a company or industry-specific basis or by topic category.
The data is based on information as of October 30th and covers companies with market capitalization ranging from $1.5 billion to over $600 billion. For the S&P 500, nearly three-quarters of boards have at least two women directors. At three companies, women make up half of the board. Eleven companies do not have any women directors, a decrease from 59 companies in 2005.
Former CEOs lead the board at 20% of the companies, and CEOs serve as board chairman at almost half of the companies. The median director age is 68, although there are 71 directors who are at least 80 years old. Some of the oldest and youngest directors tend to be company founders, with 28 directors under age 40. At 31, Mark Zuckerberg remains the youngest director in the study.
The majority of directors have retained their board seats for between three and 12 years. New directors (those serving a year or less) are becoming more common, and make up 15%. About a quarter have served for less than three years. Director pay stayed within a range of under $300,000 at half of the companies. Berkshire Hathaway reported director compensation of $6,700 in 2014.