New bid to oust Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook in the works

15 Avril, 2019, 22:23 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • The cost of keeping Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg safe rocketed in 2018 after a disastrous year for Facebook

In a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday, Facebook gave notice of its annual shareholder meeting on May 30 and confirmed the investor proposals that will be voted on during the event.

Facebook's shareholders are gearing up for a fresh attempt to oust its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg as chairman, as well as shake up the company's governance, in the wake of "severe controversies" for the social network. One of these calls for replacing Zuckerberg as company chair with a new independent member, so as to clearly separate the roles of company chair and CEO.

That particular proposal failed due to Facebook's dual-class shareholdings where Class B stocks have 10 times the voting power of class A stocks, with Zuckerberg owning 75% of the class B shares.

Last year, Business Insider was first to report on plans by Trillium Asset Management to file for governance reforms after the "mishandling" of the Cambridge Analytica scandal as well as other embarrassing missteps by the company. Facebook's share price has had a rough ride in the wake of the series of scandals.

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Given that Zuckerberg now holds over half the voting power at Facebook, he is expected to survive the ballot.

In its response, Facebook said the board believes "that the most effective leadership model is that Mr Zuckerberg, our founder and controlling stockholder, serves as both chairman and CEO", and that "implementing the proposal is unnecessary".

The other stockholder proposals include readjusting the company's share structure and the voting rights of shareholders, and compelling Facebook to provide greater insight into the company's gender pay gap.

"We believe that Mr. Zuckerberg's role puts him in a unique position: he is synonymous with Facebook and, as a result, negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg", the company claims in the SEC filings, which covered the year ending December 31, 2018.

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