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What's Wrong With Boards - Fred Hilmer

What's Wrong With Boards

By: Fred Hilmer

Paperback | 10 August 2022

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How do you rate the quality of Australian corporate leadership? Is it improving, or indeed deteriorating over time? Nearly thirty years after his seminal exploration of boards and governance in Strictly Boardroom, Professor Fred Hilmer AO revisits the state of leadership in corporate Australia.

'The public company governed by an independent Board is under pressure. In our view flawed governance is the key issue. Almost all major decisions are and can only be made by the Board, including critical appointments (CEO, chair and directors) major investments and strategy. If these decisions are poorly made, the buck must stop with the board.

We contend all is not well with governance, not just in Australia but more widely, as failures here have parallels in most economies where public companies are significant players. Hence this book.'

What's Wrong With Boards highlights how being a director of a listed company is fast becoming more complex and less attractive… and yet the role has never been more important.

Business professionals and investors alike will find Hilmer's legendary experience bring fascinating insight and perspective to these critical issues.

About the Author

Economic policy and reform strategist, Fred Hilmer AO was the chief executive officer of John Fairfax Holdings from 1998 to 2005 and vice-chancellor of the University of New South Wales from 2006 to 2015. From 1989 to 1998 he was a professor of management in the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales, of which he later became Dean and Director.

He was awarded the John Storey Medal from the Australian Institute of Management in 1991. In the early 1990s he chaired the National Competition Policy Review Committee, which led to far-reaching reforms in competition policy, and was a member of the Higher Education Council. More recently, he has chaired the Group of Eight Universities (Go8) and Universitas 21.

Fred began his long corporate involvement over the course of which was Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company (Australia) before co-founding Port Jackson Partners. He served as a Director of TNT, Coca-Cola Amatil, Macquarie Bank; Chair of Pacific Power; and Deputy Chair of Foster’s Brewing Group and Westfield Holdings Ltd and related companies. He graduated in law from the University of Sydney and undertook further law studies at the University of Pennsylvania before winning a Joseph Wharton Fellowship and completing his MBA at the Wharton School of Finance in the late 1960s.

He published his first books, When the Luck Runs Out and New Games, New Rules in the 1980s, followed by Strictly Boardroom: Improving governance to enhance company performance (1993, 1998), The Fairfax Experience: What the Management Texts Didn’t Teach Me (2007). He is the co-author of Management Redeemed: The case against fads that harm management (1998) and Working Relations: A fresh start for Australian enterprises (1993).

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What's Wrong With Boards - Fred Hilmer

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