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Blog : BOARD TALK

Lord Davies Diversifies Chime Communications plc Board

Posted on September 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

As luck would have it, my long scheduled interview last week with Lord Davies turned out to have perfect timing.


At the end he imparted some news regarding very welcome changes to the board of Chime, the media plc of which he is chairman. It was maligned in this blog quite recently for having no women on its board despite having Lord Davies - a public champion of women - as chairman.


Chime has made a series of announcements very recently. Here is one about the appointment of Vin Murria and Martin Glenn to its boardroom. I interviewed Vin Murria for the Financial Times in 2012 and that interview is here


If you read it you might agree that it is quite surprising she hasn't had a board position like this one before now. Vin Murria is Indian-born, CEO of  Advanced Computer Software, an AIM-listed colmpany, has won awards for her entrepreneurialism and sits on an AIM-listed board. But Chime is a FTSE250 company. I haven't seen her name on any of the 'lists' that are doing the rounds, in any case...


Chime has since also appointed Clare Gilmartin as a non-executive director. Clare is Vice President eBay, UK and Greater Europe and has "led the European division during an exceptional period of growth for the brand, including the successful move to mobile platforms" says the Chime release.


My interview with Lord Davies was the day before this was made public, which is why I tweeted 'two women' but did not know who the second one was...


However, Lord Davies also mentioned a 'youth board' at Chime, which had me rather excited. Innovation in the boardrooms of our businesses is what we need to keep them fresh in a fast-changing world. For a media company that is focused on digital of course it should look at tapping a 'youth board' for insight and challenge. 


Chime is doing just that. And you can read all about it from Ian Priest, the international managing director of Chime here. That is what I call good communication.


Next step is to get Vin Murria on Twitter - which may be a teeny bit of a challenge. I'm going to offer free advice...


And not only is Chime now demonstrating good commmunication (as you would expect from a company in the sector) it's good business. I'm not giving financial advice - but these are the sort of changes in the boardroom that make me wonder about buying shares in a business. It has worked for me so far.


Boardroom diversity is not just about gender - it is about  utilising different perspectives and experiences, about bringing together youth and age, about tapping as much potential as possible.


It is also interesting that headhunters I know did not know about these recent changes. Are we finally beginning to think differently about how to recruit for more diversity in our boardrooms? 


And I have  a surfeit of interesting material about the boardroom after a week which included ICSA's conference on trust and business #cosecconf13 - so do keep checking back next week. 

 

 


Categories: Women, Scrutiny, Appointments