Yeah, but if you've got the cash to get you a seat on the board, you probably don't care how much a director's position pays.
But seriously, if you want on the board, a significant stake in shares is one way to do it.
For example, right now AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, has a market cap of $2.04 billion. (There are 159 million oustanding shares, at roughly $12.80 a piece.)
Of these 159m shares, 95% are owned by institutions, i.e. mutual funds, pension plans, management companies, and the brokerage firms that manage the AMR stock and sell it other investors. So go cut deals with the institutions and buy yourself 10% or so.
Another way to get on the board is to be a 1) board member of an important company, 2) board member of a company that supplies something important to AA
, or 3) the token celebrity-businessman. In the case of AMR, they have all 3. (Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys is a director.)
*Note that in terms of assets, airlines are a great deal. Think of all of the planes that AA
has, and how those alone are worth much more than $2.04b. It just goes to show what kind of faith people have in others being able to manage an industry that's frought with risk.