Major Facebook Shareholders Join Call To Boot Mark Zuckerberg As Chairman

Marco Green
October 19, 2018

Several public funds with holdings in Facebook are calling for the removal of CEO Mark Zuckerberg as the chairman of the social network's board of directors. Contrafund manager Will Danoff was supportive of Facebook's response to problems in an investor note in August. Zuckerberg's share of voting power among company investors is roughly 60%, according to Facebook's latest proxy. They joined a proposal originally filed by the investor, Trillium Asset Management in June that called for Zuckerberg to resign as chairman.

From the Cambridge Analytica scandal that saw the personal data of 87 million Facebook members used without permission, to Russian sourced posts aimed at influencing the midterm elections, Facebook can't seem to get its house in order.

"We need Facebook's insular boardroom to make a serious commitment to addressing real risks - reputational, regulatory, and the risk to our democracy - that impact the company", Stringer said in a statement Wednesday.

The proposal is seeking the creation of a board chair independent from the founder and the chief executive officer.

Now, several public funds that hold shares in Facebook in a proposal called for him to be removed as chairman, over such high-profile scandals.

Shares held by the Treasurers of IL and Rhode Island were not immediately available.

The plan would require the company to appoint an independent chairman of the board, breaking up Zuckerberg's dual positions as CEO and chairman.

Rhode Island State Treasurer Seth Magaziner said that the proposal was still worth filing, although the 2017 attempt to remove Zuckerberg ended up being a mostly symbolic challenge, as a way of drawing attention to Facebook's problems and how to solve them.

Having founded Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is unlikely to cede any control over his company, especially to outsiders.

Last week, Facebook said a major security breach it discovered late last month had impacted the accounts of 30 million users.

Trillium, formed as a fund focused on socially responsible investing, said an independent chair would bring Facebook into line with recommendations of corporate governance experts, and said it would make the proposal at the annual shareholder meeting in May 2019.

Facebook declined comment on the proposal but noted that it has a lead independent director who represents shareholder interests.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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