Here’s Why Brad Feld Thinks Founders Need Consiglieres, Not Board Chairman


In a blog post, Foundry Group Managing Director Brad Feld explains that a startup’s board ‘chairman’ rarely has the power implied by the title, and suggests calling them ‘lead directors’ or ‘consiglieres’ — pinching from Godfather vernacular with the latter.

A board lead  is the most active director, Feld says, and often is the largest non-founder shareholder of a private company. Though the CEO should have a clear line of communication with every director, the lead chairman acts as a ‘board confidant, organizer and conflict resolver.’

Of course, with so many high-profile founders getting booted from their own companies, you should also consider finding a board chairman you can trust to keep the Wall Street analysts and other board directors at bay when they’re calling for your head. We’re sure Feld will touch on that topic in a later post, though.