Laura Lang on Long-Term Strategy and Fostering A Culture of Integrity

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Laura Lang on Long-Term Strategy and Fostering A Culture of Integrity

ARTICLE

By: Laura Lang, VF Corporation Board of Directors

Laura Lang has served on the VF Corporation Board of Directors since 2011. Ms. Lang has been the Managing Director of Narragansett Ventures, LLC since January 2014. More about Lang below.

The best boards provide a strategic compass for their organizations—helping to oversee their future direction in the near and long term. I believe deeply that the best boards also serve as a moral compass for their organizations’ vision and values. As a member of the board of VF Corporation, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, I am deeply invested in the culture of our board and of our organization.

I couldn’t be prouder that one of VF’s cultural hallmarks is the pervasive integrity that drives our actions and is the foundation of all of our business practices. As a board, we are keenly aware that we set the tone, not just with our words, but with our actions. The areas we choose to focus on are intentional and always driven by our guiding principles. We choose to take a long-term focus, and we choose a culture of integrity. We shape strategy. First and foremost, our board focuses on business strategy and the creation of shareholder value. One of the most critical roles is overseeing the development and monitoring of goals and actions against our long-term business strategy.

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As a global company that operates in more than 100 countries, we have unique access to a vast array of perspectives. Tapping into this range of perspectives enables us to achieve better outcomes and, ultimately, greater shareholder value. One of many ways we demonstrate our unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion is our 2016 commitment to joining the Paradigm for Parity coalition. By joining, we committed publicly to achieving gender parity in our corporate leadership by 2030. We’re putting a stake in the ground that establishes our organization as committed, transparent leaders in this space. We also are actively engaged with the Human Rights Campaign, a leading organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) equality. Both these commitments foster a diverse culture that encourages creative and unique business perspectives. We take a long view of board and leadership succession. We think long-term about board succession. The fact that we have a mandatory retirement age of 72 gives us a unique opportunity to plan ahead for board

We also are actively engaged with the Human Rights Campaign, a leading organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) equality. Both these commitments foster a diverse culture that encourages creative and unique business perspectives. We take a long view of board and leadership succession. We think long-term about board succession. The fact that we have a mandatory retirement age of 72 gives us a unique opportunity to plan ahead for board refreshment and ensures that our board reflects where our company is going strategically.

We have three female directors on the board and expect that number to grow as we achieve our Paradigm for Parity milestones and enact our diversity goals. Another protracted focus of our board is thoughtful and deliberate CEO succession planning. VF recently completed a long-planned and well-executed CEO transition. VF’s former CEO and current executive chairman, Eric Wiseman, identified a slate of potential successors and presented them to the board shortly after he assumed the CEO role in 2008. Over several years, our board had continual discussions and engagement with our potential CEO candidates. Based on that extensive process, we selected our new CEO, Steve Rendle, who began his role on January 1, 2017. Steve has already begun a similar succession planning process with the board.

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About the author

Laura Lang has been the Managing Director of Narragansett Ventures, LLC since January 2014. Prior to this role, Ms. Lang was the Chief Executive Officer of Time Inc., a division of Time Warner, one of the largest branded media companies in the world, until 2013. From 2008 until she joined Time Inc. in 2012, Ms. Lang was Chief Executive Officer of Digitas Inc., the largest digital agency in the world and a unit of Publicis Groupe S.A.Ms.

2017-08-01T18:07:37+00:00

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