Seems she allowed a Forbes reporter, Jenna Goudreau, to think she was a legacy Merck board member -- not a legacy Schering-Plough one. It's understandable, though, given that the whole bend of the article is to paint her as a "repairing and rejuvenating" voice -- on the various boards of directors she frequents. Truly, who would want a 2003-to-2009 Era Schering-Plough Board stint front and center -- in a piece on turnaround board members? Not Ms. Russo -- that much is certain.
It is, however, simply misleading though, to additionally suggest that her GM seat is a "public service" role -- per Forbes -- do go read it all:
. . . .After working around the clock for six years as chief executive of Lucent Technologies and its successor, Alcatel-Lucent, an $8 billion communications technology corporation, Pat Russo stepped down in late 2008. The 10th most powerful woman in the world, as Forbes ranked her in 2007, finally had some free time. But that didn't last long. . . .
Already on the boards of Alcoa and Merck, Russo joined the GM board in July 2009 and on Tuesday the Partnership for a Drug-Free America announced her appointment as the first female Chairman of the Board. . . .
I was asked by [GM Chairman] Ed Whitacre and the U.S. Treasury to be one of the new appointees to the board as it came through bankruptcy. I'm flattered to join. This is a company that is an American icon. Some people say, "Are you crazy?" Frankly, I think of it as public service. . . .
Perhaps it was simply sloppy leg-work by Ms. Goudreau, at Forbes -- but perhaps it was also something more -- from Ms. Russo. [Mr. Whitacre, the current CEO of GM, placed Ms. Russo on the board of GM -- having also seen her named CEO of Lucent Technologies, back in the day -- when he was CEO and chair of AT&T. AT&T spun-off Lucent Technologies, the company that Ms. Russo used to lead (until early-2008).
Now, directors of GM (like Ms. Russo) are entitled to receive an annual Board retainer of $200,000. The GM Board voluntarily agreed to reduce its total compensation for 2009, including annual Board retainer, retainers for Committee Chairs and Audit Committee membership, and fees for excess meetings and special services, to one dollar effective January 1, 2009. There is no promise that it will do so again in 2010 -- given that GM has now exited bankruptcy court protection, so for Ms. Russo to call her GM board stint "public service", and/or for Forbes' Ms. Goudreau to let that one pass unchallenged -- is telling.]
Gee -- I feel another Muckety map is in order, no? See below: