Much controversy about Universal Display Corporation. Huge shouting match of the loud and rude variety is underway.
The company offers the promise of exciting breakthroughs in lighting technology. Apologies to scientists for a pedestrian explanation but if it pans out its a big thing.
When companies go into warp speed and reach the next level they typically beef up the board and load in excellent talent with experience and gravitas.
The current board composition is unimpressive. The independent directors do not bring a wealth of experience to the table. A snap shot of a few independent leads to these comments:
Leonard Becker age 89 is a real estate wheeler-dealer. Other than buying lighting for his real estate projects what is he bringing to the table.
Elizabeth Gemmill age 67 has a history of non-profit boards. Very noble but this is a business. I want to see the money.
C Keith Hartley age 70 is a Wall Street wheeler-dealer. But there is no history of connections that can be leveraged. Sort of looks good to have a Wall Streeter on the board. But not enough catalyst to propel the company forward.
Lawrence Lacerte age 60 who has a background as a wheeler-dealer in tech and internet ventures.
None of the four independent directors has ever played at the level Universal Display is at or claims its going to. Time for a governance rethink. If you do not see this board changing soon you will know that management is comfortable with a captures board who does not ask tough questions.
In short they will not be able to go to the next level.
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.