Book Review: Tougher Boards for Tougher Times – by William A. Dimma

Tougher Boards for Tougher Times (Corporate Governance in the Post-Enron Era) – by William A Dimma

Everyone gets something different out of a book. The opinions here are mine only.

On the one hand, as it has been a while now since this book was published in 2006, and considerable discussion and developments on corporate governance have taken place over these years, I felt I did not benefit as much, reading this book only now, as I might have when it was newly published. On the other hand, coming from someone who is an authority on the subject,  who has held directorships for over 40 years, it emphasised and crystallised the most important issues for me.

The book is succinct, very well written and focuses on the crux of the issues, not just from a “best-practice” prescriptive viewpoint, but with real-world experience thrown in. There are 3 chapters written by 3 guest authors on board committees (audit, compensation and “governance and nominating”). It highlights the new demands and challenges of directorships, the far greater effort and time that should be required of independent directors (to acquire knowledge, as knowledge is power) and discusses stock options (their uses and abuses), dual-class share structures, comparisons of corporate and not-for-profit governance and ethics, among other things. It is certainly a useful read; however, I would look to read a more contemporary book on the subject.

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