LivaNova’s Board of Directors provides leadership and guidance over the company’s regular and nonrecurring business transactions. The Board is also responsible for assessing the effectiveness of LivaNova’s organization and administrative and accounting systems, and for evaluating its overall operating performance.
The Articles of Association allow for 10 directors unless otherwise decided by the Board. The Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee of our Board considers and makes recommendations concerning the appropriate size and needs of our Board and considers candidates to fill new positions created by expansion or vacancies that occur by resignation, retirement or any other reason. Pursuant to our articles of association (“Articles”), each of the directors is appointed for an initial term that expires at the first annual meeting of members of the Company following the completion of the Company’s second full fiscal year.
Our Board holds regularly scheduled meetings in addition to special meetings.
As required under the NASDAQ listing rules, a majority of the members of our Board must qualify as “independent,” as affirmatively determined by our Board. Pursuant to its charter, the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee applies the independence standards required by law, applicable listing rules, our Articles or our corporate governance guidelines to determine whether or not each director and each prospective director is independent and may make a recommendation to the Board as to the independence or not of each director or prospective director.
The Board and the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee have evaluated, with appropriate recommendation, all relevant transactions and relationships between each director, or any of his or her family members, and the Company, senior management and our independent registered public accounting firm. Based on this evaluation, the full Board and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee have determined that the majority of the members of the Board are “independent” as that term is defined in the NASDAQ listing standards and under U.S. securities laws.
Director Selection Process
The Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for establishing criteria for seeking and selecting individuals to recommend to our Board as director candidates. In this regard, the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee considers the entirety of each candidate’s credentials, such director criteria to include, but not be limited to: high ethical behavior, accomplishments within his or her respective field, relevant business or financial expertise of experience, sound business judgment, diversity and tenure. We have chosen not to specify minimum qualifications that must be met by a candidate, as different factors may assume greater or lesser significance at particular times, and the needs of our Board may vary in light of its composition and the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee’s perceptions about future issues and needs. However, the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee does require that every slate of individuals to be considered must include at least one woman and at least one underrepresented minority.
Chair and Chief Executive Officer; Executive Sessions
Our Board separates the positions of CEO and Chair of our Board. We believe that an independent Chair facilitates our Board’s independent oversight of our executive officers’ management of strategic direction, operational execution and business risk, thereby better protecting shareholder value. William Kozy currently serves as the non-executive Chair of our Board.
The non-executive directors of the Company meet at least quarterly in executive sessions held at the beginning or the end of regularly scheduled meetings of our Board. The Chair presides over Board meetings and executive sessions of our independent directors.
Limitation on Public Company Board Service
The Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee monitors the number of public company boards on which each director serves and develops limitations on such service as appropriate to ensure the ability of each director to fulfill his or her duties and as otherwise may be required or limited by applicable securities laws or NASDAQ listing standards. Our Board has adopted a policy, described in our Corporate Governance Guidelines, prohibiting any Board member from serving on the boards of more than three other public companies. In addition, no director may serve on the audit committee of more than two other public company boards, if that director also serves on our Board’s Audit & Compliance Committee, unless our Board specifically determines that such service would not impair the director’s ability to serve effectively on our Board’s Audit & Compliance Committee. Our Board complies with these policies.
Term and Age Limits
Our Board does not believe it should establish term or age limits. Term and age limits help ensure the availability of fresh ideas and viewpoints but deprive the Board of directors who have been able to develop, over a period of time, increasing insight into our business and operations and, therefore, provide an increasing contribution to the Board as a whole. As an alternative to term or age limits, the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee annually reviews the performance of our Board and the need for or advisability of any changes to the membership our Board.
CEO Evaluations and Succession Planning
The Compensation Committee annually reviews and approves corporate goals and objectives relevant to the compensation of the Company’s CEO, evaluates the performance of the CEO in light of those goals and objectives, and sets the compensation of the CEO based on this evaluation.
The Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee reports to our Board on succession planning for our directors, CEO and other executive officers at least annually and works with the Board to evaluate potential successors to the CEO.
Board and Committee Evaluations
Our Board conducts an annual self-evaluation to assess the extent to which it and its committees are functioning effectively. The Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee monitors the self-evaluation process to ensure that the Board and committees conduct and review the results of the evaluations. The assessments focus on our Board’s structure and composition, committees, culture, information and resources, meetings and processes, and key responsibilities, with particular emphasis on areas that can be improved. The self-evaluations are completed at the end of each fiscal year.
Our Governance Practices
We are committed to sound corporate governance practices. Our governance rules and procedures are described in our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Corporate Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and charters for each standing committee of our Board. Each of these documents is available on our website.
Codes of Ethics
Our Board has adopted a Corporate Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for our executive officers and other employees, agents and representatives. A copy of the code is available on our website. Any change to, or waiver from, the code will be disclosed as required by applicable securities laws.