Microsoft Tops the First-Ever Fortune Modern Board™ 25 Ranking

Published in partnership with Diligent, The Fortune Modern Board 25 ranks the most innovative boards of directors among S&P 500 companies

New York, April 19, 2022 - Today, Fortune revealed its first-ever Modern Board 25 ranking, recognizing the most innovative boards of directors among S&P 500 companies. Microsoft tops the list, followed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Walgreens Boots Alliance. Rankings for the list were powered by data from Diligent Institute, the research arm and think tank of Diligent, the global corporate-governance software company.

Fortune’s editors write, “The Modern Board 25 is based on the belief that in a rapidly changing business climate, innovation at the board level—and the high performance that comes with it—can be predicted based on who is in the room. As companies seek to drive change on talent strategy, diversity, sustainability, and social issues, they’ll need more diversified leadership at the very top. But they’ll also need the insight and strength that come with experience.”

The Fortune Modern Board 25 is part of Fortune and Diligent’s Modern Board thought-leadership program, which includes an editorial content hub curated by Fortune’s award-winning journalists, a weekly newsletter, quarterly virtual events, and more. The 25 companies included in the Fortune Modern Board 25 ranking were in the top quartile of the S&P 500 in board effectiveness and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria, setting them up well strategically for long-term, sustainable growth.

The top ten companies on the Fortune Modern Board 25 are:

  1. Microsoft
  2. Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  3. Walgreens Boots Alliance
  4. Intel
  5. 3M
  6. Baker Hughes
  7. Anthem
  8. Linde
  9. HP
  10. Amazon.com

View the complete Fortune Modern Board 25 here.

Diligent CEO Brian Stafford says, “Companies are being held to an ever-higher standard of conduct in their environmental and social impact, their corporate governance and their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts by employees, customers, investors, activists, and regulators. Leaders also face a risk environment that is turning more complex by the minute. Consistent with our mission at Diligent to support leaders facing these new realities and to help drive positive impact, we are thrilled to partner with Fortune to highlight organizations at the forefront of the modern governance movement.”

Of the Modern Board partnership, Fortune CEO Alan Murray has said, “We live at a moment when corporate boardrooms are being challenged as never before, with rising demands from employees, governments, and society that go far beyond the traditional confines of their businesses. We are proud to partner with Diligent to give board members the tools they need to meet the moment and cultivate a board with a long-term vision that will serve stakeholders well.”

On this week’s episode of Fortune’s podcast, Leadership Next with Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt, Murray and Stafford discuss how boards work alongside companies, and why modern boards must change - and are changing. Listen here.

Methodology for The Modern Board 25

To select the Fortune Modern Board 25, Fortune developed a ranking system in collaboration with the Diligent Institute, the research arm and think tank of the global corporate-governance software company Diligent. These rankings are based on criteria that include expertise and independence of board members; diversity on the board, including of gender, age, and nationality; and the tenure of independent directors.

In assigning scores to those criteria, we relied on corporate governance data aggregated from company reports and public filings by the Diligent institute. We also included ESG scoring, based on data from Refinitiv, an LSEG business—relying on that data to judge whether boards had the forward-leaning mentality needed to thrive in a rapidly changing business climate.

The 25 companies listed here each ranked in the top quartile of the S&P 500 in both board effectiveness and ESG, and the ranking determined by Fortune reflects the companies with the highest combined scores for both.


FORTUNE drives the conversation about business. With a global perspective, the guiding wisdom of history, and an unflinching eye to the future, we report and reveal the stories that matter today-and that will matter even more tomorrow. With the trusted power to convene and challenge those who are shaping industry, commerce and society around the world, FORTUNE lights the path for global leaders-and gives them the tools to make business better. For more information, visit www.fortune.com.

About Diligent Corporation

Diligent is the global leader in modern governance, providing SaaS solutions across governance, risk, compliance and ESG. Serving more than 1 million users from over 25,000 customers around the world, we empower transformational leaders with technology, insights and confidence to drive greater impact and lead with purpose. Learn more at diligent.com.

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