Public funds support proposal to remove Zuckerberg as Facebook chairman

Public funds support proposal to remove Zuckerberg as Facebook chairman
© Greg Nash

Several public funds that hold shares of Facebook stock are backing a proposal to remove CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse | Trump administration awards tech group contract to build 'virtual' wall | Advocacy groups urge Congress to ban facial recognition technologies Facebook to launch Fourth of July voter registration drive Hillicon Valley: Facebook claims it 'does not profit from hate' in open letter | Analysis finds most of Facebook's top advertisers have not joined boycott | Research finds Uighurs targeted by Chinese spyware as part of surveillance campaign MORE from his role as chairman of the company's board.

State treasurers in Illinois, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania as well as New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer co-filed the proposal on Wednesday, alongside the hedge fund Trillium Asset Management, which first floated the idea.

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The proposal, which requests that the positions of CEO and chairman of the board be separated, is set to be voted on at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in May.

"Facebook plays an outsized role in our society and our economy. They have a social and financial responsibility to be transparent – that’s why we’re demanding independence and accountability in the company’s boardroom,” Stringer said in a statement.

Facebook has not commented on the proposal, but it is highly unlikely that Zuckerberg will go along with it and he may be able to quash the proposal on his own.

Because of the structure of the class of Facebook’s shares, Zuckerberg’s holdings give him 60 percent voting power among Facebook’s investors, making efforts to restrict his roles difficult without his agreement.

In 2017, Facebook voted down a similar proposal on the grounds that it would “cause uncertainty, confusion, and inefficiency” at the board and management level.