For any corporation, the Board of Directors plays a crucial role in corporate governance.
Elected by the company’s shareholders, the board is meant to represent shareholder interests – it ultimately hires the CEO, sets strategic objectives, approves annual budgets, and provides accountability to the shareholders regarding the performance of the organization.
These duties are no cakewalk, and, as Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, finding capable and experienced board members to help run a multi-billion dollar corporation just isn’t easy.
To locate a qualified candidate, one option is to hire someone that already has experience working on a big corporate board – and because it’s a part-time gig, people can actually be on multiple boards at once.
Today’s data visualization is from Reddit user /r/qwerty2020 and it shows the overlap between boards of the top 50 largest companies in the United States.
It reveals that 78% of the multi-billion dollar companies here have at least one board connection with another company on the list.
THE MOST CONNECTED COMPANIES
Here are the three most connected companies:
3M (7 connections)
The 3M board has 12 members on it, including people like the retired CEOs of Kroger and UPS, and the current CFO of Microsoft.
As for board members in common, there are seven people on 3M’s board that have a connection to one of the other 50 large companies, including: Boeing, Coca-Cola, AbbVie, Proctor & Gamble, Amgen, Chevron, and IBM.
Boeing (6 connections)
Boeing’s board has 13 members, including the CEO and Chairman of Amgen, and Ronald Reagan’s former White House Chief of Staff (Kenneth Duberstein). The former CEO of Allstate and the former CEO of Continental Airlines also serve on the board.
It has six connections to other big U.S. companies through its board, including: 3M, AbbVie, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, U.S. Bancorp, and AT&T.
Amgen (6 connections)
The large biopharmaceutical company has 13 people on its Board of Directors, including the CEO and Chairman of Phillips 66, the former CEO of Mattel, and a former CFO of Walmart.
In total, it has six people that also serve on other boards: 3M, United Technologies, Apple, Boeing, Chevron, and McDonald’s.
Runners up: (5 connections)
Other highly-connected companies include Walt Disney, Apple, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, IBM, and Procter & Gamble – each has five board members that also serve for other top 50 corporations.