Corporate Eye

Corporate Governance Award — Colgate

Colgate, the $12.2 billion maker of household, oral hygiene and personal products, received the 2007 Treasury and Risk publication Corporate Governance Award.  This seemed to slip under the news radar,perhaps since Chairman Reuben Mark avoids media interviews. Still, this was a notable event. I was impressed when I visited Colgate’s Corporate Governance site.

First impression was that there is a comprehensive display of financial filings. In addition, as you look further there are more noteworthy items under their Principles:

  • Open communication between and among directors and management fosters effective oversight. ( This is lacking in many companies.)
  • Established policies guide governance and business integrity. Our Board plays an active role overseeing the integrity of the financial statements of the Company. (Bravo!)
  • Good governance is the responsibility of all Colgate people. (This is exceptional and is a key component of effective Corporate Governance)
  • Good governance thrives from continuous improvement. (Indeed)

Colgate provides links to documents that further describes each of these principles and in the Governance Commitment in Action section, there is a further elaboration of what actions the company is taking relative to each principle.

But wait, there’s more, Board members and their backgrounds are clearly displayed and How To Contact Board members is clearly defined. It is not surprising that Colgate received the award and they provide a model for other companies to follow.

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Ed Konczal has an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business (with distinction). He has spent the last 10 years as an executive consultant focusing on human resources, leadership, market research, and business planning. Ed has over 10 years of top-level experience from AT&T in the areas of new ventures and business planning. He is co-author of the book "Simple Stories for Leadership Insight," published by University Press of America.