Earlier this month, Verizon Communications (VZ) elected Roxanne S. Austin (B-) to its board of directors, effective immediately. It has not been announced what committees Autin will serve on.
Austin is currently the president and CEO of Austin Investment Advisors, a private investment and consulting firm. Other management experience includes stints as president, COO, and EVP at companies DIRECTV and Hughes Electronics.
Austin has significant experience as a director. She serves on the boards of Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, CrowdStrike Inc. and Teledyne Technologies, with a mixed track record. In addition she spent 18 years on Target’s board. She’s been recognized as the Director of the Year in 2018 by the Forum for Corporate Directors, and is co-chair of the annual Corporate Governance Conference at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
Austin becomes the 10th member of Verizon’s board, bringing gender diversity up to 30% female as the 3rd female, slightly ahead of their peers. At 58 years old, Austin doesn’t alter the older composition of a Verizon board that doesn’t have a single member younger than 50 years old.
Verizon has been successful in recent years, more or less matching the returns on the S&P 500. As the wireless communications industry transitions to 5G, shareholders will hope Austin’s experience can help guide Verizon to greater growth.
Note: Letter grades represent proprietary Boardroom Alpha ratings that assess the individual’s track record as a director or officer across their career.