Tuesday, 20 July 2010 11:43

Software Boards Report - Introduction Featured

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Building a strong board of directors can have powerful benefits for your fast-growth software company. The right board can help drive incisive advice on strategic decisions and steer you in the right direction with the right experience and contacts.

By outlining board strategies and best practices of successful fast-growth companies, our study offers the first step toward your board-building success. Questions from many of our fast-growth clients include:

  • What is the appropriate size of technology company boards? Too large and they are unmanageable. Too small and they are not deep enough.
  • Who should be on my board? What is the makeup that most benefits me? What makeup do successful companies have from a functional experience, industry experience, education, age, and diversity perspectives?
  • What is the appropriate tenure for a board member?
  • What are most common compensation strategies for technology company boards and is my company in the ball park to attract to talent?

When building a high performance board, you ultimately need to:

  • Appreciate the benefits a seasoned board of directors can bring to your firm
  • Learn how to leverage a board of directors for strategic planning and decision making
  • Determine the best means to compensate your directors
  • Develop a process to determine what types of individuals should make up your board and how you can recruit them to the table
  • Discover the ins and outs of producing an agenda that sets the stage for results driven board meetings

Results and conclusions in this report are based on the study of the top 10 fastest-growth software companies with revenues ranging from $100 million to $1 billion. This list of companies originated from the 2008 Software 500 ranking by Software Magazine (www.softwaremag.com). Financial and technical data were collected from the Software 500 list, as well as Hoovers, ZoomInfo, and archived press releases.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this study further or discuss some of the additional elements listed above, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Whether you are interested in commenting on one or more of the aspects of this study, share your experiences, or need assistance with creating or enhancing your board of directors, we would be more than happy to speak with you and hear your feedback and experiences.

Best regards,

Dora Vell

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Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults, garage.ca, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.


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