DEFINITION of 'Independent Outside Director'
A member of a company's board of directors who was brought in from outside the company. Because an independent outside director has not worked with the company for a period of time (typically for at least the previous year), he or she is not an existing manager and is generally not tied to the company's existing way of doing business.
BREAKING DOWN 'Independent Outside Director'
The general consensus among stockholders is that independent directors improve the performance of a company through their objective view of the company's health and operations. They do not have to pander to other management personnel in order to retain their jobs. Stockholders and politicians pushed for more independent outside directors in the wake of the Enron collapse in the early part of the 2000s.