Board governance in the age of shareholder empowerment

Insights from PwC's Annual Corporate Directors Survey

Our 2016 Annual Corporate Directors Survey highlights continued changes in the boardroom. Companies are facing disruption from new technologies, geopolitical turmoil, cyber threats, increased regulation, and more vocal investors. Overseeing a company in today’s challenging business environment can be difficult. Boards must be able to manage internal and external pressures in order to be effective. 

The changing business landscape means boards have more to understand and more to oversee. So they need to have the right people sitting at the table—diverse people with the best skills and expertise for the company—in order to help steer the company toward a successful future. Some boards are tapping third parties for help, while others want to spend more time on strategic planning and IT strategy. Still, most directors aren’t very concerned about their workload, and they are confident in their ability to oversee risk.

Meanwhile, a shift is happening in the boardroom. Investors have more influence on issues ranging from board composition and executive compensation to company strategy. How are boards responding and keeping up?

View top 10 findings

Explore key topics

  • Board composition and diversity
  • Director communications and shareholder activism
  • Board priorities
    and practices
  • Strategy and
    risk oversight
  • Executive compensation and CEO sucession
Corporate Directors Survey – board composition and diversity – PwC

35% of directors say someone on their board should be replaced—and the top reason why has changed

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Corporate Directors survey – director communications – PwC

80% of directors say activism has compelled companies to more effectively evaluate their strategy, execution, and capital allocation—what else do they think about activism?

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Corporate Directors Survey - board priorities – PwC

75% of directors aren’t at all concerned about their board work—and some boards continue to tap consultants for advice

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Corporate Directors Survey – strategy and risk management – PwC

62% of directors say their board looks at emerging technology trends when reviewing company strategy—what else do they do?

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Corporate Directors Survey – executive pay and succession – PwC

29% of directors say the CEO’s good performance gets in the way of effective CEO succession planning—what are the other challenges?

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“Investors want more director accountability and more emphasis on transparency behind decision-making and performance. Shareholders are looking for a seat at the board table, putting directors in the spotlight and driving change across the governance landscape.”

-  Paula Loop, Leader, PwC’s Governance Insights Center


Contact us

Paula Loop
Leader, Governance Insights Center
Tel: +1 (646) 471 1881

Terry Ward
Partner, Governance Insights Center
Tel: +1 (612) 326 2066

Catherine Bromilow
Partner, Governance Insights Center
Tel: +1 (973) 236 4120

Paul DeNicola
Managing Director, Governance Insights Center
Tel: +1 (646) 471 8897

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