Social media giant Facebook is reportedly being coerced by some shareholders to remove founder Mark Zuckerberg from the board of directors of the company.
Social media giant Facebook is reportedly being coerced by some shareholders to remove founder Mark Zuckerberg from the board of directors of the company. According to a VentureBeat report, a proposal has been filed to replace Zuckerberg, who has been on the board since 2012, with an independent chairperson who can carry the company forward with better corporate governance and pro-shareholder agenda. The idea, according to the report, was initiated by a watchdog group of shareholders called SumOfUs. It is an online group which holds firms accountable for various issues that big companies face, including worker rights, discrimination, corruption among other things.
In the proposal, Intel’s former chair Andrew Grove was quoted as saying, “The separation of the two jobs goes to the heart of the conception of a corporation. Is a company a sandbox for the CEO, or is the CEO an employee? If he’s an employee, he needs a boss, and that boss is the board. The chairman runs the board. How can the CEO be his own boss?”
According to the VentureBeat report, this move came following a petition filed by 3,33,000 people who asked for the removal of Zuckerberg as the Chairperson of the board of directors. Meanwhile, apparently, only 1,500 among that whopping number were shareholders.
Meanwhile, Zuckerberg who is the founder and CEO of Facebook will hardly be affected by this move by SumOfUs as he owns a considerable amount of the company shares, and has a big say in the decision making ways of the company. Additionally, the social media giant is nowhere close to making losses which are generally the main reason when such a big decision happens in big corporates.
The proposal, which VentureBeat posted, claims that “We believe the combination of these two roles in a single person weakens a corporation’s governance,
which can harm shareholder value.” The proposal added, “We believe that independent board leadership would be particularly constructive at Facebook as our company faces increasing criticism regarding its perceived role in the promotion of misleading news; censorship, hate speech and alleged inconsistencies in the application of Facebook’s community standards guidelines and content policies..”