Utah Business

2024 Outstanding Directors

Gary Crittenden | 2024 Outstanding Directors

2024 Outstanding Directors
Photo by Jon Hague Photos

Lifetime Achievement

Executive Director | HGGC, Inc. |

Currently a board member for: 

Primerica, Zions Bancorporation, Extra Space Storage, Beauty Industry Group

When have you seen a board and management work together to navigate a complex challenge?

Last year, Extra Space Storage acquired Life Storage. Prior to this acquisition, the management and board of Extra Space held annual strategy sessions where we, among other things, reviewed the business performance and strategies of various public competitors. These discussions allowed the board and management to develop mutually shared perspectives about the shareholder value that might be created by combining with other companies. When Public Storage announced a hostile bid to acquire Life Storage, the Extra Space board and management met to further discuss synergies and strategies specific to a merger with Life Storage, allowing Extra Space to put in a bid for Life Storage in an abbreviated time frame. Because of prior discussions in board meetings, the management had the full support of the board as they struck an agreement.

How have you seen good corporate governance strengthen your company?

Having good succession planning processes developed by the management team and reviewed annually by the board is critical to the long-term strength and performance of a company. These succession plans should include an understanding of the gaps and development plans for each senior individual proposed for a future role. This is one of the most important roles of the board in ensuring good governance. 

What is the best advice you can give someone serving as a director for the first time? 

Don’t feel like you need to demonstrate your skills in your first few board meetings. Take time to learn the key levers that drive shareholder value. There will be plenty of time to add value to the discussion as your perspective develops.

Gary Crittenden has served in various capacities at HGGC, including managing director, chairman and CEO. He previously served as chairman of Citi Holdings and as CFO at Citigroup, American Express Company, Monsanto, Sears Roebuck, Melville Corporation and Filene’s Basement, following a consulting career at Bain & Company.

Savannah Beth Withers Taylor is the assistant editor of Utah Business and a graduate of the editing and publishing program at Brigham Young University. Beth has written content about travel, academics, and mental health for Stowaway magazine, BYU College of Humanities and United Way. She enjoys traveling, reading, eating, and mercilessly defeating loved ones in anything competitive.