Evaluating Strategy and Identifying Risks
Emerson Lead Independent Director Dr. Clemens A.H. Boersig provides insight and perspective on the Company’s commitment to bring value to shareholders.
Q: What is the role of the Board in helping Emerson balance its responsibility to shareholders, employees and the communities it serves?
A: Emerson is known for its disciplined management process and forward-looking focus on recognizing and executing changes to ensure the continued strength of the business. An engaged, effective Board of Directors is key to providing inputs and guiding decisions around strategy to help drive both near- and long-term success.
As an organization, Emerson feels a strong responsibility to all stakeholders: investors, employees and their families, customers, partners and communities. The Board views every decision through this critical lens to ensure our actions align with our constituencies.
Q: How does the Board complement Emerson’s leadership?
A: Emerson’s Board is comprised of individuals with deep expertise in their respective industries and extensive business leadership. Emerson’s management team, including Chairman and CEO David Farr, has a thorough understanding of the day-to-day business of the organization. The collective knowledge of the Board helps Emerson determine and align on strategic priorities. The Board’s wealth of insight can help navigate the organization through changing global trends, while providing strategic direction that will enable the Company to continue delivering value into the future.
Q: How does Emerson’s Board help inform strategy and evaluate risks?
A: We lead a thorough planning cycle each year in June to set strategy and identify and evaluate risk. Our comprehensive process includes a multi-day strategy workshop to determine and prioritize the top financial and operational threats and opportunities facing the Company and evaluate key investments and potential acquisition and divestiture targets. This approach enables the Board to respond to new information and guide the Company to success. This year, our process included a discussion of slowing macroeconomic trends, and we directed the organization to begin planning for alternative scenarios in 2020 that had consequences for our near-term plans.
Q: The Board has welcomed four new Directors over the last three years, including most recently Martin Craighead in June and Mark Blinn in November 2019. What is your process for refreshing the Board?
A: Board refreshment is vital to ensuring we maintain fresh perspectives. Our Board has carefully identified the core competencies needed to provide the strongest governance and strategic direction to the organization. We have a robust process to identify candidates, and we initiate discussions well in advance of Board retirements to ensure continuity. I meet personally with candidates, as does Josh Bolten, chairman of the Governance and Nominating Committee, as well as other committee members, to ensure that candidates not only possess the requisite skills and characteristics, but also the personality, leadership traits, work ethic and independence of thought to effectively contribute as a member of the Board.
Dr. Clemens A. H. Boersig
Lead Independent Director
Standing: Mark A. Blinn, Lori Lee, Arthur F. Golden, Gloria A. Flach, Clemens A.H. Boersig, Joshua B. Bolten, James S. Turley, Martin S. Craighead, Seated: Matthew S. Levatich, David N. Farr, Candace Kendle