• Simone Joyaux

    I opt for NOT putting the ex CEO on the board. And I’m concerned that the ex CEO would even consider this.

  • David Patt

    This is a bad idea. The CEO should not get involved in the organization, regardless of that person’s previous success, passion for the cause, or popularity with Board members. The former CEO’s tenure is over and that person should not be in a position to challenge or criticize the current CEO.

  • Michele Prince

    When I joined my organization as ED, OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center, in California, I was very fortunate to have a successful transition with the former Executive Director. She had one term on our Board of Directors and was able to play an important role, particularly in strategic planning. We had a strong rapport that was initiated in our interviewing process. We were wise the to the possible pitfalls of her continued role, but avoided any unclear boundaries and decision-making. We gained historical perspective plus insight into operations, vision, and fund development relationships. The description above, starts with a red flag, I agree, with the ex-CEO speaking only to the Board and not the current CEO, about the roles. In our situation, we had very transparent communication and objectives.

  • Doreta Richards

    A policy that creates a period of separation of at least two years before transitioning from staff to Board member is always good to have for a number of reasons such as: if the CEO was released but the Board was divided on the issue, the policy is a safety barrier for the segment of the board that may wish to still engage the outgoing CEO by having him/her serve on the Board. Once the policy is in place, if the Board needs to engage the outgoing CEO, that can be addressed a couple ways: either by retaining him/her on contract for a period that would aid a successful transition or through a vote of the full board to make an exception to the policy.

  • Eugena Simpson

    Is it a good idea that a CEO, also the ED is also a board member of a nonprofit???

    • sr911

      The reply is going to come back as “Dear God….no!” along with a whole lot of histrionics. There is no reason why a CEO/ED (they are the same role most places) should not be on a board that is otherwise well run. If it is all volunteer (meaning the ED is not paid), then there is even less reason for this sort of overly cautious approach to things. If they ED is paid, then you simply put a policy in that they are not allowed to vote on things that impact their pay or benefits (which that sort of personal benefit should be covered for ALL board members by a general conflict of interest policy anyhow) or you make it so they are a non-voting board member which still gives them the right to speak freely and put motions before the board without having to “get permission”.

      People like to squawk about how “Founder’s syndrome” and “We have always done it this way” but the “No EDs in the board room” stuff is more of the latter. It is the result of people not wanting to put in the effort to be ethically proactive. To me, unless you’re being irresponsible about what a person can and cannot vote on, the argument that someone who is “staff” not being allowed on the board is a bit like arguing that volunteers should not be allowed on the board because they are “too close” to day to day operations and that may cloud their judgement. At the same time, excluding the ED from having an absolute right to speak and put motions forth effectively ties the hands of what is probably the only person on the board who actually cares about what is happening at many organisations. The rest were likely brought on more as a tip of the hat for a large donation or because of community/political clout.