Our Board of Directors currently consists of six directors, including four independent directors under the rules of the NYSE, of whom two also qualify as external directors under the Companies Law. Two of our current directors, Mr. Waxe and Mr. Kunda, are independent directors who were elected at our 2015 annual shareholders meeting. Our external directors, Mr. Barnea and Ms. Baytel were elected in our annual shareholders meeting held in April 2013 for a term of three years commencing May 2013. Two additional directors, Messrs. Erel and Bronshtein, were appointed by DIC, as founding shareholder, in accordance with our license and articles of association’s requirement that at least 20% of our directors be appointed by Israeli citizens and residents from among our founding shareholders. We do not enter into service contracts with our directors. Our articles of association provide that we must have at least five directors.
Each director (other than external directors and directors required to be appointed by Israeli citizens and residents from among our founding shareholders) will hold office until the next annual general meeting of our shareholders following his or her election. The approval of at least a majority of the voting rights represented at a general meeting and voting on the matter is generally required to remove any of our directors from office (other than external directors and directors required to be appointed by Israeli citizens and residents from among our founding shareholders), provided that directors appointed by the Board of Directors may also be removed by the Board of Directors. A majority of our shareholders at a general meeting may elect directors or fill any vacancy, however created, in our Board of Directors (other than external directors and directors required to be appointed by Israeli citizens and residents from among our founding shareholders). In addition, directors, other than an external director or a director required to be appointed by Israeli citizens and residents from among our founding shareholders, may be appointed by a vote of a majority of the directors then in office.
Our articles of association provide, as allowed by Israeli law, that any director may, by written notice to us, appoint another person who is not a director to serve as an alternate director (subject to the approval of the chairman of the Board of Directors; and in the case of an appointment made by the chairman, such appointment shall be valid unless objected to by the majority of other directors) and may cancel such appointment. The term of appointment of an alternate director is unlimited in time and scope unless otherwise specified in the appointment notice, or until notice is given of the termination of the appointment. No director currently has appointed any other person as an alternate director. The Companies Law stipulates that a person who serves as a director may not serve as an alternate director except under very limited circumstances. An alternate director has the same responsibility as a director.
Each of our executive officers serves at the discretion of our Board of Directors and holds office until his or her successor is elected or until his or her earlier resignation or removal. There are no family relationships among any of our directors or executive officers.
Qualifications of external directors
Companies incorporated under the laws of the State of Israel whose securities are listed on a stock exchange are required by the Companies Law to appoint at least two external directors. For the Concentration Law in this regard see "-Corporate Governance Practices" above. External directors are required to possess professional and other qualifications as set out in the Companies Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder. The appointment of our external directors was approved by our shareholders in May 2007 for an initial term of three years, and our external directors were reelected to additional three year terms in April 2010 and again in April 2013. The Companies Law provides that a person may not be appointed as an external director of a company that has a controlling shareholder if the person is a relative of the controlling shareholder, or if the person, or the person’s relative, partner, employer, direct or indirect supervisor or any entity under the person’s control has or during the two years preceding the date of appointment had, any affiliation with the company or any entity controlling, controlled by or under common control with the company.
No person may serve as an external director if the person's position or other business interests creates, or may create, a conflict of interest with the person's responsibilities as a director or may otherwise interfere with the person's ability to serve as a director. If at the time an external director is appointed all current members of the board of directors are of the same gender, then that external director must be of the other gender.
Until the lapse of two years from termination of office, a company may not appoint an external director as an office holder and cannot employ or receive services from that person for pay, either directly or indirectly, including through a corporation controlled by that person.
Ami Erel has served as Chairman of our Board of Directors since 2005. Mr. Erel also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Discount Investment Corporation Ltd. from 2001 to 2013. From March to December 2007, Mr. Erel also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Netvision Ltd., where he served prior to March 2007 and from 2008 to 2011, as Chairman of the board of directors. From 1997 to 1999, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Bezeq – The Israeli Telecommunications Corporation Ltd. Mr. Erel also serves as deputy Chairman of the board of directors of Makhteshim-Agan Industries Ltd. (where he served from 2006 and as a director and from January 2011 through October 2011 as Chairman of the board of directors). Mr Erel also serves as a director of Shufersal Ltd., Elron Electronic Industries Ltd. (where he served from 1999 to 2001 as President and until January 2007 as Chairman of the board of directors), Knafaim Holdings Ltd. and Dan hotels Ltd. Mr. Erel served as the chairman of the executive committee of the Manufacturers Association of Israel from 2005 to 2009 and from 2009 to 2011 he served as the chairman of the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute. Mr. Erel holds a B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.
Ari Bronshtein has served as a member of our Board of Directors since 2008. Mr. Bronshtein has served as Vice-President of DIC since January 2006. Since July 2010, he also has served as a Chief Executive Officer, and from May 2009 to June 2010 he served as co-Chief Executive Officer of Elron Electronic Industries Ltd. Mr. Bronstein also serves as a member of the boards of directors of Modiin Energy Management (1992) Ltd., Given Imaging Ltd. and various private companies. From 2004 to 2005, he served as Vice President and head of the Economics and Business Development division, and from 2000 to 2003, as Director of Finance and Investments, at Bezeq – The Israeli Telecommunications Corporation Ltd. Mr. Bronshtein holds a B.A. in finance and management and M.Sc. degree in finance and accounting, both from Tel Aviv University.
Ephraim Kunda has served as a member of our Board of Directors since 2010. Mr. Kunda is an Israeli businessman and is the owner and managing director of a private consulting company that provides economic consultancy and business mediation services. From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Kunda has served as the Chairman of the board of directors and since 2010 as a member of the board of directors of Ravad Ltd., a public real estate investment company. From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Kunda served as an external director of Property and Building Corporation Ltd., a public real estate company that is a member of the IDB group. Mr. Kunda holds a B.A. in Economics from Tel Aviv University.
Joseph Barnea has served as a member of our Board of Directors since 2007. Mr. Barnea is a retired businessman. From October 2012, Mr. Barnea served as an external director of Imagesat International Ltd. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Oxygen & Argon Works Ltd. from 1987 to 2005 and continued to serve as a member of its management until 2006. From 1985 to 1987, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Telkoor Ltd. From 1980 to 1985, he served as a Vice President of Elscint Medical Imaging Ltd. Mr. Barnea is a member of the executive committee of the Israeli Industrialists Association and until 2007 he served as the Chairman of its Chemistry and Environment Association. From 2004 to 2009 Mr. Barnea served as a member of the board of the Israeli Export & International Cooperation Institute, from 2005 he serves as a member of the standard committee of the Israeli Standards Institute and prior to that, as a member of its board. From 2002 to 2004 he served first as President and then as Chairman of the International Oxygen Manufacturers Association (IOMA) USA. He served as Deputy Commander of the signal, electronics and computer corps of the Israeli Defense Forces. Mr. Barnea holds a B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and an M.Sc. in electrical engineering from Columbia University, New York, USA.
Ronit Baytel has served as a member of our Board of Directors since 2007. Ms. Baytel is a director in the finance department of Ormat Technologies, Inc., a company listed on the NYSE, in charge of SOX internal controls in the preparation of financial statements and tax and special projects. From 1998 to 2005 she served as senior manager at Kesselman & Kesselman, a certified public accountants firm in Israel, which is a member of the international PriceWaterhouseCoopers Accountants firm. Ms. Baytel is a certified public accountant and holds a B.A. in economics and accountancy from Tel Aviv University and an M.B.A. from the Hebrew University.
Shlomo Waxe has served as a member of our Board of Directors since 2006. Mr. Waxe has served as Director General of the Israel Association of Electronics and Software Industries since 2006. From 2002 to 2005, he worked in the field of communications management and consultancy. From 1999 to 2001, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Zeevi Communications Ltd. From 1997 to 1999, he served as a consultant to cellular communications projects in Sao Paulo, Brazil and in Northeast Brazil. From 1993 to 1997, he served as the Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Communications. From 1990 to 1993, he served as commanding officer of the signal, electronics and computer corps of the Israel Defense Forces and he is a retired brigadier general. Mr. Waxe also serves as a member of the boards of directors of C. Mer Industries Ltd. and until 2009, served as a board member of Shrem, Fudim – Technologies Ltd. and until May 2012, served as a board member of Tambour Ltd. Mr. Waxe holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Haifa.