Under pressure, Akamai adds two board members

Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  March 08, 2018 Internet content delivery company Akamai Technologies Inc. is adding two independent directors to its 11-member board. It’s a move that could help the Cambridge company mend fences with Elliott Management, the activist hedge fund that’s taken a big stake in Akamai and is demanding reforms to boost profitability and share value.One of the two new board members is Tom Killalea, former chief information security officer at Amazon. The second addition has not yet been named.In addition to the expanded board, Akamai said it will set up a committee to identify ways to boost operating margins. Akamai had been aiming for margins in the high 20 percent range by 2020; the new committee will look for ways to boost that to 30 percent, an ambitious goal. Advertisement “Akamai is an outstanding company with significant potential for future growth, and we are pleased to have worked together with the board and management team on today’s announcements,” Elliott Management partner Jesse Cohn said in a press release. Get Talking Points in your inbox: An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays. Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here Elliott said in December that it had acquired 6.5 percent of Akamai’s stock and that it would seek to maximize the value of that stake by pushing for management reforms — or maybe even by cutting a deal to sell the company.The famously aggressive hedge fund has a track record of buying stakes in Massachusetts-based firms, such as records storage company Iron Mountain Inc., data storage hardware company EMC Corp., and medical records company athenahealth Inc.Akamai also said Thursday that it has boosted the amount of cash it will spend to buy back $750 million of the Continue Reading

BIA-MO Sports Concussions Seminar Press Release

SPORTS CONCUSSIONS SEMINAR   Brain Injury Association of Missouri Hosts Free Sports Concussions Educational Seminar    St. Louis, MO – The Brain Injury Association of Missouri (BIA-MO) will host its annual Sports Concussions: Facts, Fallacies and New Frontiers Seminar on Monday, January 29, 2018 at Spazio Westport in St. Louis County.  Sports and school personnel are encouraged to attend. This educational Seminar is for both paid and volunteer coaches, licensed athletic trainers, league and athletic department administrators, and game officials, as well as school nurses, counselors, PE teachers, and board members.  The purpose of this Seminar is to reduce the risk of concussions for youth through education for adults who are involved with youth sports. The goal is for coaches and others to be able to recognize a potential concussion and be aware of care options. The Seminar is free for attendees.  Concussion experts will discuss topics such as concussion signs and symptoms, concussion-related research, and proper concussion management. There will also be a session on changing concussion culture in sports teams, presented by John Lace, MS, and Michael Ross, PhD, ABPP, of St. Louis University Billiken Sport Psychological Sciences and Consultation Lab.  According to Maureen Cunningham, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, “Being aware of the signs, symptoms and methods of concussion prevention helps reduce the risk of concussion for youth. This is why the Seminar is offered free-of-charge - so budgets do not become a factor in considering all that can be done to keep youth safe in team sports.”  Pre-registration is required at www.biamo.org.  Cunningham says, “Today’s young athletes – of every sport, at every competitive level – are our future.  Protecting their health as they enjoy team sports is important. Coaches and schools being proactive Continue Reading

Sarpy Board member Brian Zuger will run for county treasurer

Sarpy County Board member Brian Zuger has filed to run for county treasurer. A press release said Zuger is running to “bring fiscally conservative leadership, first-class customer service and new technologies to Sarpy County residents.” He filed the paperwork Monday morning. Rich James, who has served as Sarpy County treasurer since 1992, said Friday that he will not seek re-election this year, according to the Bellevue Leader. Zuger, of Bellevue, was elected to the County Board in 2016. In his first try at public office he ousted Tom Richards, a two-term incumbent and the board’s only Democrat. Also on Monday, Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing announced that he would be running for re-election. Ewing is finishing his third term as county treasurer. Continue Reading

ASU football’s Herm Edwards press release draws scrutiny, strong reaction on social media

ASU football announced the hire of Herm Edwards and a new vision for the program on Sunday night in a news release.The release, which talked about a "New Leadership Model" for the program, drew scrutiny from the sports community, who dissected it on Twitter Sunday night and Monday morning. Editor's note: You can read ASU's release below the reaction. RELATED: What to know from ASU's press conference introducing Herm Edwards RELATED: Edwards addresses ASU plan,. coaching philosophy in column RELATED:  Herm Edwards blasted by media as Ray Anderson's pick RELATED:  Jake Plummer weighs in on Herm Edwards MORE:  Bruce Arians reacts to Herm Edwards at ASUTEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State University and Vice President of University Athletics Ray Anderson has unveiled plans for a restructured ASU football model and named former NFL head coach Herman Edwards as the 24th head coach of Sun Devil Football, pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents.The department's New Leadership Model will be similar to an NFL approach using a general manager structure. It's a collaborative approach to managing the ASU football program that includes sport and administrative divisions, which will operate as distinct, but collective units focused on elevating all aspects of Sun Devil Football. This structure will allow the department to form a multi-layered method to the talent evaluation and recruiting processes, increase its emphasis on both student-athlete and coach development and retention, and provide a boost in resource allocation and generation."Our goal for this football program is to reach unprecedented heights, and therefore we need to find a way to operate more innovatively and efficiently than we have in the past," Anderson said. "In the spirit of innovation, our vision for this program is to have a head coach who serves as a CEO and is the central leader with a collaborative staff around him that will elevate the performance of players and Continue Reading

Pruitt guts EPA science panels, will appoint new members

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday he intends to replace the outside experts that advise him on science and public health issues with new board members holding more diverse views. In announcing the changes, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt suggested many previously appointed to the panels were potentially biased because they had received federal research grants. The 22 boards advise EPA on a wide range of issues, including drinking water standards and pesticide safety. "Whatever science comes out of EPA shouldn't be political science," said Pruitt, a Republican lawyer who previously served as the attorney general of Oklahoma. "From this day forward, EPA advisory committee members will be financially independent from the agency." Pruitt has expressed skepticism about the consensus of climate scientists that man-made carbon emissions are the primary cause of global warming. He also overruled experts that had recommended pulling a top-selling pesticide from the market after peer-reviewed studies showed it damaged children's brains. Pruitt said he will name new leadership and members to three key EPA advisory boards soon — the Science Advisory Board, Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Board of Scientific Counselors. It was not clear from the EPA's media release if all current board members serving out their appointed terms were immediately dismissed. EPA's press office did not respond to messages seeking clarification on Tuesday. As part of his directive, Pruitt said he will bar appointees who currently in receipt of EPA grants or who is in a position to benefit such grants. He exempted people who work at state, local or tribal agencies, saying he wants to introduce more "geographic diversity" to the panels. The five-page policy Pruitt issued Tuesday makes no mention of other potential conflicts of interest, such as accepting research funding from corporate interests regulated by EPA. Continue Reading

Former Oracle board member dogged by links to China-backed chip deal

By Liana B. Baker and Michael Flaherty SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the ultimate corporate insiders, board members are presented with plenty of opportunities to cash in on their sector knowledge and connections. The case of Ray Bingham, until recently Oracle Corp’s second-highest paid board member and executive chairman at U.S. chip maker Cypress Semiconductor Corp , shows how taking advantage of those breaks can backfire. The 71-year old technology veteran helped set up a private equity fund backed by China’s central government last fall. In November, the fund agreed to buy Lattice Semiconductor Corp , another U.S. chip manufacturer, for $1.3 billion – a potentially lucrative coup for Bingham. But the chip deal is in doubt over U.S. national security concerns. On Monday, Lattice and the buyout fund, Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, said they submitted the deal for review for the third time to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The deal has also cost Bingham personally. His connection to Canyon Bridge has forced Bingham, recipient of a 2009 Financial Times ‘Outstanding Director’ accolade, to relinquish two marquee board seats in the technology sector because of divergent perceptions of whether he faced conflicts of interest in his various roles. On Sunday, Bingham resigned from Cypress' board of directors after the company's founder and sixth-largest shareholder - T.J. Rodgers - sued the Cypress board and launched a proxy contest to remove Bingham from the board. Rodgers alleged Bingham faced irreconcilable conflicts of interest because of his involvement with Canyon Bridge. Bingham, in the Cypress announcement of his stepping down, cited this contest as a distraction. It came three months after he gave up his seat on Oracle's board of directors due to controversy over him moonlighting for Canyon Bridge. “Throughout the process (of joining Canyon Bridge), Ray conducted Continue Reading

Morgan Stanley names board member Glocer as new independent lead director

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley board member Thomas Glocer will take over the role of independent lead director starting in September, the bank said on Thursday.Glocer replaces Erskine Bowles, who had been independent lead director since 2014, and will remain on the board. The change is part of a governance policy to rotate directors periodically.Although a chairman is in charge of a board, the role of lead independent director has become more important in recent years as a check and balance at companies like Morgan Stanley that have the same person in place as chairman and chief executive officer.In a press release, the bank's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Gorman cited Glocer's experience in "fin tech," the mixture of finance and technology, a popular concept on Wall Street as banks try to become more digitally savvy.Glocer had been CEO of Thomson Reuters Corp, which owns Reuters news service, from 2008 through 2011, and CEO of Reuters Group PLC before it merged with Thomson. He joined Morgan Stanley's board in 2013.Morgan Stanley director Jami Miscik will take over Glocer's role as chair of the board's operations and technology committee, the bank said. Director Rayford Wilkins will chair the nominating and governance committee. Both positions also take effect Sept. 1. (Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra; editing by Grant McCool)(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Click For Restrictions Continue Reading

Press Release: Fox News Signs Dr. Ben Carson as Contributor

Fox News Channel has signed Dr. Ben Carson as a contributor. Below is the press release. FOX News has hired columnist, author and humanitarian Dr. Ben Carson as a contributor, announced Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of the network.  Carson will provide analysis and commentary across FOX News Channel’s (FNC) daytime and primetime programming. He will make his debut in the new role on The Kelly File (9:00 PM/ET) this evening, Wednesday, Oct. 9th. In making the announcement, Ailes said, “Dr. Carson is a brilliant neurosurgeon who has dedicated his life to healing others. He also has a broad perspective on what’s going on in the country and his wisdom and provocative viewpoints will make a major contribution to our network.” For 39 years, Carson served as the director of pediatric surgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.  He recently retired in June 2013 and now serves as a professor emeritus at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  During his career there, he achieved several miraculous feats in the field of neurosurgery, including the first and only successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head in 1987. A recipient of hundreds of awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008, Carson also holds more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees and is a member of numerous prestigious groups. In addition to his work in the medical field, Carson sits on the board of directors of various organizations, including Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporationand  the Academy of Achievement, and is a fellow emeritus of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University. He is also the president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. A highly regarded motivational speaker, he has spoken twice during the president’s National Prayer Breakfast, most recently in February Continue Reading

Board member: Iowa more concerned about ‘beer sales’ than kids

State Board of Education members Thursday declined to add their voice to the school start-date furor, but not before some spirited debate.In December, when local school officials learned the Iowa Department of Education would no longer automatically grant waivers to start classes earlier than state law prescribes, "there was a sudden rug jerked out from every district in the state of Iowa, because we are more concerned about the State Fair, beer sales and hotel-motel revenue in this state than we are about all the kids that are going to school in" Iowa, said Diane Crookham-Johnson, a board member from Oskaloosa.The board's discussion on the school-start dates came after Gov. Terry Branstad addressed members about several education-related issues, including the school calendar. Branstad told the board he was willing to consider a compromise on when districts start classes, but didn't provide specifics.In December, at Branstad's urging, state education Director Brad Buck informed school leaders that the department would no longer automatically grant waivers to districts that wanted to start classes before the week of Sept. 1. Buck wrote educators that earlier start dates would only be considered if a district demonstrated that starting later would have a "significant negative educational impact."Guidelines for the waivers were released this week.Buck's letter set off a flurry of criticism over the state dictating when classes should begin, an issue that has been debated since 1985, when the lawmakers approved the state's current school start-date law. In recent years, the issue has gained attention as districts began classes in August.The education department's crackdown on waivers prompted Iowa lawmakers to introduce bills that would allow local school officials more flexibility in setting calendars.Crookham-Johnson asked that the department continue to automatically grant waivers for a year until the issue can be more fully discussed.Mike May, a board member from Continue Reading

Judge: 2 Holmdel school board members broke rules

Two members of Holmdel Township's Board of Education, including the board’s vice president, violated state ethics rules when they wrongly implicated the superintendent and another school official in alleged criminal wrongdoing, a state judge has ruled.Board Vice President Dennis Pavlik and board member Ana Vander Woude were found guilty of violating six of the 10 ethics guidelines that govern service on boards of education.The charges stem from 2012, when Pavlik and Vander Woude raised concerns that Meryl Gill, Holmdel school district's director of special services, was working for another district while being paid by Holmdel. They also accused Superintendent Barbara Duncan of negligence or complicity in Gill's alleged double-dipping, according to Administrative Law Judge Jeff Mazin's decision.An investigation by school board attorney Marty Barger showed that Gill did not act improperly, and Mazin found Pavlik and Vander Woude guilty of publicly damaging the school board and overstepping their duties as board members. The judge recommended the pair be punished for the violations with a censure — essentially, a public reprimand. HOLMDEL SCHOOLS:  Holmdel selects new schools chiefThe case now will go before the state's School Ethics Commission, which can recommend a punishment different than that suggested by Mazin. In extreme cases, the Ethics Commission can suggest a suspension or expulsion from the school board. The case then would be reviewed by state Commissioner of Education David Hespe.Pavlik and Vander Woude said they don't regret coming forward with their concerns and both said they will stay on the school board, barring an unexpected suspension or expulsion.“I’ll keep saying it. I did nothing wrong and I would do it again,” Pavlik told the Asbury Park Press.Holmdel Schools Superintendent Duncan declined to comment. Duncan, along with Continue Reading