The Next50 2023: half of the prospective top non-executives are women, 80 percent are over 50 and multicultural diversity is still a long way off. We do signal a broadening of profiles in the Supervisory Board.
Telecom titan Baptiest Coopmans is the new No. 1 of the Next50. Coopmans already supervised VodafoneZiggo and late last year became a Supervisory Board member (vice Chairman) at dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina. That is not as unfamiliar territory as it seems, as Coopmans spent the first half of his career at food group Unilever. He still has room in his portfolio for more hefty Supervisory positions: his move outside the telecom sector could well be the prelude to more "diversification" and thus top Supervisory Board member status.
At No. 2 we find Bernard Fortuyn, who collected a handful of Supervisory Board memberships in the technical and energy fields. He is Chairman of three Boards: grid operator Juva, science museum NEMO and gas wholesaler GasTerra. The latter position could certainly not be called calm during the past year, due to the consequences of the war in Ukraine. And then there was the parliamentary inquiry into gas extraction in Groningen. But even more challenging is perhaps Fortuyn's Supervisory role at Oranjewoud, part of Gerard Sanderink's business empire.
The first woman on the list occupies the third spot: Mieke De Schepper. Last year she became not only CCO of review site Trustpilot, but also Supervisory Board member of online meal delivery company Just Eat Takeaway and hotel search engine Trivago. A platform Supervisory Board member, then, and thus a new addition to the existing Supervisor typology of financials, lawyers and sector specialists.
Sybren Attema ranks fourth in this year's Next50. He owes this to his supervisory position at FrieslandCampina. He was also a supervisory director at the dairy cooperative between 2009 and 2010, but held an executive position there in the following years. He has since returned to the supervisory board, as chairman this time.
At No. 5 we meet Ahold Delhaize CEO Frans Muller, who joins the Supervisory Board of De Nederlandsche Bank this spring, which has always been a prestigious position. He is also Supervisory Board Chairman of Vlerick Business School. With that, Muller's (shopping) basket seems full for now, as his own Supervisory Board members want to reappoint him as CEO of the supermarket group for another four years. Moreover, Muller will have his hands more than full in that role in the coming year: the belt has to be tightened due to inflation and high energy costs.
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A non-executive director is eligible if he or she holds one or more positions as a Supervisory Board member or Director at the major companies in the Netherlands. By this we mean companies listed on the AEX, AMX (MidCap) or AScX (SmallCap) index and unlisted companies with an equity capital of more than 500 million euros. Unlike the Top-100 Non-Executives, it is not just about the points. The timing of the supervisory board memberships should also be taken into consideration: Non-execs should be evolving, not deteriorating. From the universe of non-execs at the above-mentioned companies, non-executive directors have been selected who still have a management position or who had until recently. Candidates must also have accepted new directorships within the last two years. The reference date is 1 February 2023.
Allocation of Points
The Supervisory Board members are awarded points based on the level of the equity capital of the companies where they hold a position. Supervisory positions at these companies weigh more heavily than executive roles. In addition, the members of the Supervisory Board receive points for chairmanships of supervisory boards, chairmanship positions of boards of directors and chairmanships of audit, remuneration and nomination committees.Finally, points are awarded for supervisory positions at large foreign companies, universities, colleges, hospitals and other large companies.