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Building an Effective Board

Stan McKee Former CFO, Electronic Arts

Stan McKee, Former CFO EA and Former Board member of Arcsight

Until retiring in 2002, Stan McKee served for over 13 years as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of Electronic Arts Inc., the world’s largest developer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Mr. McKee served on the Board of Arcsight, which eventually sold to HP for $1.5 billion, as Chairman of its Audit Committee. He has also served on the Board of Leapfrog as Chairman of its Audit Committee since 2003.

Summary Notes on Building an Effective Board

  • What should be the makeup of an early stage board and how should it evolve over time?
    • Board should consist of VCs early on and start to incorporate more people with operating experience as it matures
  • What elements are essential for a public board?
    • Independent members are crucial
    • There needs to be a transition from founders or early board members to people who are more experienced
    • Need a variety of skillsets and experiences represented on the board
  • How should a CEO best communicate with the Board?
    • The relationship should be active; not ideal if the board reviews materials once a quarter in the meeting
    • Stan had good experience with CEOs who do a better job of keeping individual board members in the loop as issues arise

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