Facebook Shareholders Back Proposal To Remove Mark Zuckerberg As Chairman

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 18, 2018

Facebook isn't just facing increasingly skeptical investors and consumers. The proposal to remove Zuckerberg also highlights Facebook's "mishandling" of other recent incidents, including Russian meddling in USA elections and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In opposing the proposal, Facebook said an independent chair could "cause uncertainty, confusion, and inefficiency in board and management function and relations". Three state treasurers and the New York City comptroller have joined a shareholder proposal to strip Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg of his chairmanship.

Facebook has been beleaguered by multiple issues, from the admission that it allowed Cambridge Analytica to access users' private information to claims its platform was used to meddle in the 2016 elections. The information comes from a recent Reuters report claiming that four major USA public funds that hold shares in Facebook Inc made this proposal.

"They have a social and financial responsibility to be transparent - that's why we're demanding independence and accountability in the company's boardroom", said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer in a statement released by Trillium.

The recent data breach that led to data of almost 30 million users being stolen added fresh fuel to Facebook's troubles.

Shares held by the Treasurers of IL and Rhode Island were not immediately available. "Now is the time for change".

Major Facebook investors want Mark Zuckerberg to step down as chairman of the company's board following several high-profile scandals. A proposal to have him removed from the post has been filed, which will be put to vote at the next Facebook shareholder meeting, which is to take place next year.

Facebook resisted a recent shareholder request that the company separate the roles of chairman and CEO.

While stinging, and yet another marker of growing distrust of the social-media giant, the proposal is unlikely to have much sway. A similar proposal was defeated by stockholders in 2017.

A similar plan a year ago was approved by 51 percent of the independent investors, but Zuckerberg controls mass numbers of Class B shares in the company, which have "10 times the voting power of class A shares" owned by the public. In July, Facebook projected weaker-than-expected revenue growth and its shares have been battered more than 25% since then.

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