Dear Sir,

As a CBI member it’s sad to observe the current turmoil caused by poor leadership and a toxic culture at the organisation (“CBI fights for its reputation as Danker sacked over sexual misconduct claims”, April 12).


The CBI probably has one last chance to put things right, and key to this is the effective delivery of a board governance review. 

While it’s heartening to read that they plan to hold a “root-and-branch” review of their culture, governance and processes this will not be objective, and therefore worthwhile, unless it’s undertaken by an independent third party experienced in delivering such reviews.

It’s only then that an assessment of board governance, along with a subsequent report and recommendations, can shine the sterilising sunlight that will provide true value to the CBI. The board will receive a report it “needs to hear” not “wants to hear” at this critical time.

Sadly, a current or recent member of the CBI board cannot credibly deliver an independent review of the organisation and culture that they have overseen. 

The lack of independence in the conduct of the governance review will have a negative impact on the future performance and effectiveness of the board, and put the long term survival of the CBI at risk.

Yours faithfully

Dr John Harte

Managing Partner

Integrity Governance

3rd Floor

207 Regent Street

London W1B 3HH

Email: [email protected]

John leads a global team at Integrity Governance that is focused on making boards more effective. A boardroom expert working with multinationals, SMEs, trade associations and not-for-profits, he provides practical, impartial advice to directors, business owners, executives and CEOs, to help improve board performance. He has 30 years of experience at director level in the corporate world, having worked at blue chip businesses including: Mars, Schroders and Goldman Sachs.

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