An insider's view: a conversation on corporate governance with Rick Hernandez.

Author:Schneider, Pablo
Position:BOARDS FEATURE 2016 - Interview

Enrique "Rick" Hernandez, Jr. is the Chairman, President, and CEO of Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc., which has over 25,000 employees in the Americas, Africa and Europe. Hernandez serves as a Director of Chevron Corporation, Chairman of McDonald's Corporation, a Director of Nordstrom, Inc., and a Director of Wells Fargo & Company. In addition, he is on the board of trustees of the University of Notre Dame and serves as a board member of The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, the Harvard College Visiting Committee, and the Harvard University Resources Committee. Hernandez graduated with a bachelor's degree in government and economics from Harvard University and graduated with a law degree from The Harvard Law School.

Pablo Schneider: The corporate governance ecosystem is challenging in its lack of diversity and slow pace of change although women are making some gains. What are your thoughts about women on corporate boards?

Hernandez: I can respond with a perspective on Nordstrom. The way we looked at it at Nordstrom is that we wanted our board to reflect our customers and our company. As a retailer, the majority of the people who shop at our stores or online are women, and so we thought as a strategic matter but also from the equity standpoint, that the board needed to have a good number of women on it. You can layer that on top. We were thinking like that 15 years ago, and if you look at the Nordstrom board continuously over time, 30% or more of the board members have been women.

Schneider: What are your thoughts on the Hispanic market as it relates to board conversations and board composition?

Hernandez: It's a complicated issue. In many cases what boards do is challenge management to set higher goals, to change in different ways, and to respond to the market. Clearly one of the opportunities is seizing upon all of the potential of the Hispanic market, and I think board members bring their personal experience to the boardroom. Having diversity within the board allows those challenges to be made in a more authentic, thoughtful, and data-filled way than if somebody just theoretically asks...

To continue reading