The call to oust Mark Zuckerberg is nothing new, especially since the rise of issues concerning data security and privacy. This time around, though, the call to remove him from Facebook is coming from inside, as reported by Mashable.
According to the report, a group of investors has joined efforts in an attempt to replace the social media giant CEO and board chairman. The plan is reportedly being materialized through an April 12 SEC filing. And, as expected, the words included in the filing do not make Zuckerberg an ideal man to hold the positions.
The SEC filing describes the founder of Facebook as someone with “dual-class shareholdings,” giving him at least 60 percent ownership of the company’s voting shares. As such, this leaves the board with a very limited ability to perform a check on his power. And yes, this is possible even if there is a lead independent director present.
Through the above-mentioned statement, the proposal suggests that the governance of the tech firm is greatly weakened. Even more so, it paves the way for oversight of the management to take place.
To put it simply, Facebook investors also agree to the idea of checking Zuckerberg every now and then. Doing it otherwise is simply bad for the company as a whole. Again, this is not entirely new, as many have voiced out their opinions of removing the CEO from his position.
While others believe that Zuckerberg is integral in the development of Facebook, his presence in the company makes it impossible for them to progress. Not that Zuckerberg is bad at what he is doing – he just does not have what it takes to be a CEO of a huge tech company.
To make the proposal even meatier, the investors of the company showed examples showcasing Zuckerberg’s failure to make Facebook a better company. These examples, in particular, highlights the CEO himself screwing things up.
The proposal adds that the lack of an independent board of Chair and oversight has played a crucial role in how things have turned up. In one way or another, it has significantly contributed to the mishandling of Facebook. The same thing can be said for the existence of numerous controversies, all of which have painted a bad picture. What is worse, according to the proposal, this has increased the costs to shareholders and risk exposure.
For starters, there is the infamous Russian meddling during the U.S. elections. Add to this the exposure and sharing of nearly 87 million users’ personal data with Cambridge Analytica. The proposal also cites data sharing involving Huawei, which is a device manufacturer. Even the U.S. intelligence deemed the situation a great national security threat.
Apart from the aforementioned examples, Facebook investors included the cultivation of fake news on the platform. There is also the promotion of violence in countries like Indian, Myanmar, and South Sudan. Moreover, the social media giant has been responsible for propagating depression and other mental health issues, as well as enabling advertisers to exclude “ethnic affinities” from being able to see ads.
If the proposal wins, Facebook would finally embrace a Chair of the Board of Directors. And, by essence, the position will be deemed an independent member of the board.
Apparently, though, the company – or even Zuckerberg himself – is not entirely a fan of the aforementioned position. As a matter of fact, the company stockholders decided to reject a very similar proposal during the 2017 annual meeting of stockholders of Facebook. While there is every reason for the proposal to materialize, it is almost possible for it to fail due to history.