The Basel-based health giant, Novartis, has beefed up its board's committee structure, in line with what it said were new developments in global corporate governance.
Novartis will now have four permanent committees reporting to the board, with each having clear lines of responsibility.
The chairman and chief executive, Daniel Vasella, said the move would define "specific responsibilities of our board members and further fulfil out commitment to best practice in global corporate governance in the interests of our shareholders".
The chairman's committee will deal with business matters arising between board meetings and will be responsible for high-level appointments and acquisitions.
The compensation committee will decide the remuneration of board members and evaluate the performance of the chairman and CEO and determine his compensation.
The audit and compliance is to oversee accounting and financial reporting practices.
And the newly created corporate governance committee will focus on board nominations, board performance evaluation, and possible conflicts of interest.
Novartis said that, with the exception of Vasella, who heads the Chairman's committee, all other members are independent, outside experts.
It added that the term of office for each board member was expected to be reduced from four to three years, and that all board members would be subject to a performance review before they could be proposed for re-election.
swissinfo with agencies
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