The Informed Board

Skadden Publication

The oversight obligations of boards continue to expand. Recent enforcement actions and new laws in areas such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and supply chains create new challenges for boards, as we explain in this issue of The Informed Board. In another article, we outline potential pitfalls for companies that want to lend financial support to political conventions, transitions or inaugural events in this U.S. election year.

We also track the explosion of shareholder activism in Europe, including a wave in Germany.

In our podcast, our panelists discuss best practices for succession planning, and why it should be an annual affair.

Emerging Expectations: The Board’s Role in Oversight of Cybersecurity Risks
New SEC rules and an enforcement action against a company that was the victim of a cyberattack set out in detail the responsibilities of boards in maintaining cybersecurity. Directors should take an active oversight role in evaluating measures designed to protect against cyberattacks. The rules and the agency’s action are also likely to shape the expectations of investors and customers.

Seven Myths About the US Law Banning Imports Made With Forced Labor
Diligence of global supply chains is now critical as the U.S. vigorously enforces the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. Customs officials have detained $2.2 billion of imported goods, from textiles and solar panels to industrial goods and electronics. This has scrambled supply chains, prompting companies to re-evaluate their compliance policies and conduct more in-depth diligence of their suppliers.

AI Executive Order: The Ramifications for Business Become Clearer
The full impact on the private sector of a sweeping executive order on artificial intelligence is becoming clearer as government agencies spell out details. Any company developing or using AI is likely to be affected in some way.

A Guide for Directors to Political Law Issues in This Election Year
Corporations that want to help finance the presidential nominating conventions or support transition or inaugural activities need to be mindful of both campaign finance laws and pay-to-play rules. Violations of the latter could result in a company’s being banned for years from competing for government contracts.

Shareholder Activism Continues To Increase and Spread in Europe
Last year brought a surge of new activist campaigns in Europe, including a wave in Germany. Many activists surveyed think French companies will make good targets. Many companies are installing defenses against activists.

Podcast: CEO Succession Planning on a Clear Day
Succession planning for senior management should be an annual process, managed by the board. Our panel discusses best practices, including how to develop multiple and next-level candidates, how to keep internal candidates incentivized, and how appointment of an executive chairman for a fixed span can help a new CEO transition into the role.

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