I own a single share in a handful of public companies. Each share gets me into the annual shareholder meeting where I can ask questions to Fortune 500 CFOs, CEOs, and board members. 2018 is my second year going to the meetings, and the strategy is effective at putting me in a room of 15 difficult-to-access people for 30 minutes. Anyone can follow this strategy. If you’re interested in replicating it, check out my portfolio here.
At last week’s shareholder meeting for a major consumer products company, I ran into a former CEO that once worked with a colleague of mine. This CEO was highly focused on the customer and led a Fortune 500 company through a significant growth period—all the way to an acquisition. Now, he’s on the board of several Fortune 500 companies. We’ll call him Mike.
My colleague and I planned a question for Mike about how to keep a company focused on the customer as you transition from an operator (CEO) to an advisor (board member).