After facing the flak from different quarters including governments around the world over the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has now faced angry shareholders for unequal voting shares, the media reported. At the company’s annual meeting on Thursday, activist investors had forced votes on six proposals to change the company’s governance or institute other reforms, the Guardian reported. But thanks to the company’s unequal voting structure, Zuckerberg and his board of directors escaped the election unscathed. The event, however, provided a platform for crticising the leadership of Zuckerberg and his board of directors.
One of the attendees in the meeting, Christine Jantz of Northstar Asset Management, Advertisement talked in favour of a proposal to reform Facebook’s stockholder voting structure.Under the company’s current structure, Zuckerberg controls the majority of voting shares despite not owning a majority of the company. This is because his shares have 10 times the voting power of the shares available to regular investors.Problems like the Cambridge Analytica scandal were the results of that structure, according to Jantz.He called it an “egregious example of when a board is formed by a CEO to meet his needs” rather than those of investors.
James McRitchie, a shareholder activist, termed the current voting structure a “corporate dictatorship”. “Mr Zuckerberg, take a page from history,” he was quoted as saying.”Emulate George Washington, not Vladimir Putin,” he added.The meeting also discussed the company’s various initiatives to increase advertising transparency, improve content moderation, and prevent interference in elections, the report said.