The central employees’ council (COR), DLO’s representative body, wants a maximum of two terms in office for WUR board members. The council says the executive board needs a regular influx of fresh faces.
The COR was prompted to make this recommendation after the adoption of the new corporate governance code last March. That code does not set any limits to the number of terms members of the executive board can serve. ‘If you look at the “shelf life” of CEOs in big corporations, it’s generally about eight years,’ says COR member Cees van Dijk. ‘After that, it is a good idea to let a new CEO take a look at the course they are taking.’
Former chair of the board Aalt Dijkhuizen was appointed for a third term of four years in 2010. The employees’ council advised against the reappointment at the time, but the supervisory board eventually disregarded the advice. The COR hopes to get a better reception now that there have been big changes in the supervisory board members.
However the employees’ representatives themselves are divided on the issue. The student staff council, which represents Wageningen University students and staff, has not commented on the possibility of a limit. Some individual members are even opposed to the idea.