Directors' Alert


2021 Directors' Alert

A new era of board stewardship begins

As the world continues to be impacted by COVID-19 and look to recover from the economic turmoil the pandemic has wrought, boards of directors are finding their world – and their boardrooms – fundamentally transformed.

Globally, traditional topics of boardroom discussion like growth, profit and cost structure are making room for broader, more far reaching ones, including new risks to the business, workplace safety issues, increased stakeholder interest in governance, serious discussions about social and political turmoil and racial injustice.

For boards, the pandemic has been a reminder of the multiple systemic risks they need to consider, and that navigating these risks will take ingenuity and thoughtfulness. Many directors are now evaluating how their companies are contributing to the wider response to the pandemic and how they are taking care of their people, and their people’s health and safety.

The conversation is similar whether you are serving on a board in San Francisco, Shanghai, Stockholm, Swansea or New Zealand and as directors connect across industries and countries, many boards are learning from each other right now.

To support the current conversations and sharing of learnings, we’ve created the global 2021 directors’ alert series with a collection of interviews and short articles featuring directors from a diverse range of industries and sectors.

Edition #1 – December 2020

The first edition in the series features interviews with:

  • Barry Lawson Williams – Director, Sutter Health Corp
  • Rose McKinney-James – Director, MGM Resorts International, US Energy Foundation, MGM Detroit and NACD Pacific Southwest
  • Gordan Cairns – Chairman, Woolworths Group Limited

These global non-executives share their thoughts on how the time is now to address climate change in the boardroom, the impact of the pandemic in business strategy and the role digitalisation and innovation will play in the recovery process, and more.

Edition #2 – January 2021

This edition in the series features insights from Ira Kalish, Deloitte’s Chief Global Economist and interviews with:

  • Chaly Mah – Independent Director, Singapore
  • Karin Dohm – Independent Director, Germany
  • Punit Renjen – Deloitte global CEO 

These global leaders share their thoughts on the leadership challenges and new priorities boards face at this pivotal and historic moment.

Edition #3 – April 2021

The third and final edition in this year's series features interviews with: 

  • Monica Mächler – Independent Director, Switzerland
  • Ivan Menezes – CEO and Executive Director Diageo plc, United Kingdom
  • Barbara Stymiest – Independent Director, Canada 

These global directors share their learnings from the pandemic and offer insight into current challenges business leaders are facing, including climate, sustainability, and how it might be time to rethink the social contract that exists between business and society. 

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