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When It Comes to Startup Board Membership, VCs and CEOs Need to Do Their Job TechCrunch


Does anyone else Appalled as I am by the content of Connie Loizos’ recent article, Coming Out of COVID, Are Investors Losing Their Taste for Boards? The stories and quotes in the article about investors reducing their interest and attendance at board meetings, not showing up, sending the junior partner to cover, etc. are revealing and alarming.

The reasons cited make sense, such as overwhelmed investors, Zoom fatigue, and rookie admins. Connie’s note that “in private, VCs admit they don’t add much value to boards” is pretty funny to read as a CEO who’s heard a ton of investors talk about value that they add to the boards of directors (although the good ones do add a lot of value!).

For the most part, everything about the substance of this article angers me.

Disengaged or dysfunctional boards aren’t just bad for CEOs and LPs; they are bad for everyone. If the world has truly become a place where the board meeting is nothing more than a distraction for CEOs and investors think it’s a tax they can’t afford, then it’s time to hit the reset button for board meetings and board meetings.

Here are four things that need to happen in this reset:

Investors must do their job well or stop doing it

Disengaged or dysfunctional boards aren’t just bad for CEOs and LPs; they are bad for everyone.

The argument that investors have done too many deals during the pandemic and therefore have run out of time is particularly silly, as the pandemic has also reduced the time VCs had to spend at one-on-one board meetings. administration. I used to have four in-person board meetings each year with directors traveling for meetings, having dinner, hanging out with the team, and sitting on committee meetings.

Today, boards are blessed with one face-to-face meeting per year (more on that later). And since everything else takes less time and there is little transit, any given VC should have doubled the time they spend at board meetings.

Serving on a post-investment board is central to an investor’s role. They have obligations to the founders they support and to the LPs they represent, as their primary function is to “find deals, execute deals, and manage the portfolio.”

If they don’t have time for the third job, they must admit it to both Founders and LPs before quitting. If a VC can’t be bothered to focus on their investments and adding value, they should work with the company to find their replacement.

CEOs need to take their job as board leader seriously


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