Management: Inside the Board Room

The Social Register of U.S. business is a thick, blue-covered book that lists the members of the nation's most exclusive business clubs: the corporate boards of directors. Last week Standard & Poor's issued the 37th edition of its Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, covering some 29,000 publicly held companies. The 3,185-page volume listed the names of 72,153 directors and executives, the highest number in history. Standard & Poor's also drew a statistical profile of the men who run U.S. business.

Of the people in the directory, 70% are over 50, and many...