Recent Initiatives:

  • Assisted owners in a construction-related business with valuation and buyback of stock and subsequent buy-sell agreement among remaining owners. Tripled their line of credit availability and improved their cost structure. 
  • Worked with the CEO of a software company to develop the strategy and business plan. 
  • Helped a start-up foodservice client through the organization process, develop their strategic plan and successfully raise equity and debt capital. Continue to work with the client as advisor to the CEO. I currently  serve on the board of directors of this privately held company.
  • Lead the turnaround and growth of one of New York City's premier medical practices.
  • Completed a due diligence review of a proposed M&A transaction for a large Swiss life science company.
  • I  served as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of a prominent publicly held gaming company to lead it through a debt restructuring and change of control. 
  • Completed NACD Master Class in corporate governance enroute to NACD Board Leadership Fellowship.

Links to other financial and governance resources:

Articles and Commentary  

In the article, Do CEOs Make the Best Board Members from Stanford University and Heidrick & Struggles, the issue of whether or not CEOs make the best board members is the focal point.  The article makes some other interesting (albeit only peripherally related to the main topic) observations which may be relevant to Nominating & Governance committees. 

My experience on the topic is that while standing CEOs generally have good experience in strategic thinking and implementation, are strong across a broad range of disciplines, have had direct P&L responsibilities and usually have sufficient personal income and assets to allow them to be independent (i.e. they don’t necessarily need the income from the board assignment), which otherwise would make them excellent board candidates, these attributes need to be weighed against their significant (and often unpredictable) time commitments to their primary employers, the potential for their industry expertise to present conflicts of interest as well as their individual style/attributes (e.g. strong ego or a dominating style) which may negatively impact the overall performance of the board – much the same way that one star player usually is not enough to make a championship team.

That being said, I believe that CEOs frequently do make good directors for the reasons cited above.  However, this is not a given and the nominating process should be sufficiently robust to identify potential issues and fit with the overall board.  Whether I'm talking about CEOs, “professional directors” or any other category of potential board member they must be evaluated for their overall competency (what skills make them valuable to this specific board), engagement and fit (not to suggest “sameness”, but sufficiently diverse to capture a broad range of perspectives combined with the ability to hear other viewpoints and work for the greater good – a topic for another day!).  Enjoy the article (link to it is provided below).

Mr. DiVito recently published a piece on Art as an Investment in conjunction with Questroyal Fine Art.  See the publication below.

    Mr. DiVito was quoted in the following article from Agenda.