Investor calls for oversight committee at Facebook

Investor calls for oversight committee at Facebook
© Greg Nash

A Facebook investor is urging other shareholders to vote to install an oversight committee for the company, arguing that more supervision is needed after a string of controversies at the social media giant.

Trillium Asset Management, an activist investment fund, sent a letter to shareholders on Tuesday blasting Facebook leaders like CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Conservative groups seek to block Facebook election grants in four swing states: report Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board MORE and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg over the lack of accountability at the company.

“The simple fact that so many different and severe controversies keep occurring leads us to believe the underlying issue remains unsolved and a different form of oversight is needed,” the letter reads.

“Facebook’s executive team can spend countless hours providing technical solutions to controversies about privacy or mental health or illegal activity, but without additional guidance and strategic vision about the company’s role in society and the risks it creates for people and communities, as well as for itself, we believe it will never truly get past these issues,” it continues.

Zuckerberg apologized to Congress last week following revelations that a political consulting firm with ties to President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE had improperly obtained data on 87 million Facebook users.

“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake,” the Facebook CEO told lawmakers.

Trillium wrote that the response indicates the need for more systemic oversight at the company.

In response to Trillium’s official proposal on Friday, Facebook rejected the request for a new committee, saying that its board of directors is qualified to police the company.

“We believe that our board and committees have sufficient time and resources to address risk oversight matters along with their other responsibilities and that, given the size of our board of directors, it is inefficient to establish a separate risk oversight committee that would likely be comprised of some or all of the same directors that are already overseeing these matters,” Facebook’s board wrote to shareholders.