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Reasons for the Resignation or Removal of a Board Member or Director

by Laura Woods

A board of directors are elected or appointed to oversee important company activities. These people have a great influence on key decisions impacting the company. Sometimes a person serving as a board member or director is ultimately not a good fit for the company. There are many reasons why a professional may resign from this position, ranging from personal to ethical issues.

Unethical Behavior

The board of a company is trusted to make important decisions regarding its future, so it’s important that members are trustworthy, putting the best interest of the business before their own. If a board member is caught behaving in an unethical manner, customers, shareholders and employees may feel uncomfortable having him remain an adviser to the company. For example, Lance Armstrong voluntarily stepped down from the board of his Livestrong charity, which he founded, after his doping scandal. As he was personally receiving a great deal of negative attention, he didn’t want his actions to reflect poorly on his charity.

Meeting Absence

Board members and the director are appointed because company leaders feel these individuals can make valuable contributions to the business. Regular attendance at meetings and any other necessary functions is necessary to remain an asset to the company. If a board member regularly skips meetings and related commitments, he’s not doing his part to contribute anything to the company.

Differences of Opinion

If a board member or director feels like his opinions on the future of the company are very different than fellow board members or company management, he may not be much of an asset. While differences of opinion can sometimes be a good thing, if it seems like his opposing views aren’t adding value but are instead slowing down important decisions and causing everyone to feel frustrated, it may be best to resign.

Goals Achieved

Sometimes a board member or director takes on his duties to help the company achieve a specific goal or navigate through tough times. When the objective has been achieved or the company turmoil has been successfully defeated, he may feel like his work is done. Stepping down from the position makes room for a new person to come in and offer the company a fresh prospective.

About the Author

Laura Woods is a Los Angeles-based writer with more than six years of marketing experience. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.

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