The ‘Prime Minister’ and ‘Deputy Prime Minister’ of the Top 100 Non-Executive Directors have simply been reappointed: former Ahold Delhaize CEO Dick Boer is once again the most influential Supervisory Director of the Netherlands, and the runner-up remains unchanged too. There is no real change to be seen: not more, but in fact fewer female Supervisory Directors, and a lack of rejuvenation. Supervision does seem to become more international, but the ‘supervisory migrants’ are mainly white and from the Western world. Supervisory Directors of color are hugely underrepresented on the total list.
> Read our analysis of the list here: Analysis Top 100 Non-Executive Directors 2023
Similar to last year Dick Boer leads the list. The former CEO of supermarket group Ahold Delhaize is Non-Executive Chair of meal delivery service Just Eat Takeaway, Non-Executive at Swiss food giant Nestlé and Vice-Chairman of family conglomerate SHV and of Shell. ‘Dare to (vice) chair’, as not everyone is interested anymore in a supervisory position at the oil and gas company, following the court ruling on Shell’s misstatement of their climate targets. Fear reigns among some Supervisory Board members: will the association with the former Royal not mean the end of the rest of the supervisory portfolio?
The runner-up of the list also remains unchanged: Pauline van der Meer Mohr, Supervisory Director of chip machine manufacturer ASM International (Chair), insurer NN (Vice Chair) and Ahold Delhaize. Until the end of 2022, Van der Meer Mohr also chaired the Corporate Governance Code Monitoring Committee. In that role, she had to keep all parties on board during the update of the corporate governance code, incorporating the concept of sustainable long-term value creation. A tough job, considering the growing fear of legalization and liability among stakeholders.
This former Ahold executive climbed six positions within the top 10 due to a new supervisory position at Heineken, which appointed him because of his legal, sustainability and retail experience. Additionally, Hijmans Van den Bergh oversees ING Group and investment company HAL. His career somewhat resembles a well-stacked sandwich: first, about two decades at the renowned law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, then four years at Ahold, followed by another four years at De Brauw, and now the professional supervisory directorship. Incidentally, this spring, he retired from a Supervisory Board position after just one term: at BE Semiconductor Industries (BESI), where he served as Chairman.
Miriam van Dongen has been an established name in the Top 10 for many years and rises six places this year, from tenth to fourth place. Her supervisory portfolio is diverse. For example, she supervises insurer Achmea and a number of subsidiaries and is deputy chairman at the Kadaster, online payment service provider Mollie and derivatives trader Optiver.
Jack de Kreij is one of the biggest climbers on the list: he added a Supervisory Board position at ASML to his already impressive portfolio, which includes supervisory positions at Wolters Kluwer, Boskalis and TomTom. ‘ASML is like a high-speed train, so it was ‘full steam ahead’ straight away,’ De Kreij shared about his onboarding at the chip machine manufacturer. During his time as Vopak CFO, he dealt with US sanctions against Iran. That experience is now proving useful at ASML. Enter the geopolitical Supervisory Director as a new discipline in Dutch boardrooms, now that the international community is torn apart by tensions and conflict?
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