Empty Seats at the Table
Maybe it's time to feel sorry for Europe 's top executives. Last week, Los Angeles-based headhunters Korn/Ferry International revealed that high — and in some cases increasing — numbers of European directors are declining invitations to sit on company boards. The reason? The pressures and costs involved in upholding stricter corporate governance standards in the wake of high-profile blowouts such as Enron and Parmalat.

The scandals have "brought home to a greater extent the importance of quality contributions" from board directors, says Mina Gouran, head of U.K. Board Services at...

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