All corporate boards should have at least one executive drawn from Internet or technology areas among their directors, according to two-thirds of institutional investors responding to a recent survey.
A similar percentage of respondents to the survey -- commissioned by Russell Reynolds Associates, New York -- also thinks that all boards, regardless of industry, should establish committees to oversee their Internet strategies.
"The forces unleashed by the Internet are so significant that investors now consider them to be a boardroom-level issue," said John T.W. Hawkins, leader of the board service practice of Russell Reynolds, the global executive and director recruiting firm.
"A number of bricks-and-mortar companies have responded by placing Internet executives on their boards, and this trend will only continue. In the coming years, successful Internet executives will have their pick of blue-chip boards to join."
The survey is based on interviews with more than 400 institutional investors from the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and Italy.
Among other findings of the survey:
* 58% of respondents believe corporate governance guidelines should be voluntary, not required by regulatory authorities;
* 70% of European and 63% of American respondents favor premium pricing of director and executive options, so recipients are rewarded only for company performance better than that of the market as a whole; and
* 49% of respondents believe adopting generally accepted accounting principles or international accounting standards is an important consideration in evaluating a company.