Sat, 17 Nov 2018
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Facebook shareholders back removal of Zuckerberg as chairman

By Sheetal Sukhija, United States News
18 Oct 2018, 23:29 GMT+10

CALIFORNIA, U.S. - Arguing that the Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had mishandled several high-profile scandals, several public funds that hold shares in Facebook have backed a proposal seeking his removal.

On Wednesday, hedge fund Trillium Asset Management backed the proposal co-filed in June by state treasurers from Illinois, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to remove Zuckerberg as the chairman of the world's largest social media company.

The proposal asks the board to make the role of chair an independent position.

While Facebook has not made an official comment so far, Stringer issued a statement saying, “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."

According to a company filing in April, Zuckerberg holds about 60 percent voting rights, while the New York City Pension Funds owned about 4.5 million Facebook shares (as of July 31) and Trillium held 53,000 shares.

Further, as of August, the Pennsylvania Treasury held 38,737 shares and the Illinois Treasury owned 190,712 shares.

Now, shareholders will vote on the proposal at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting in May 2019.

However, reports pointed out that a similar proposal to appoint an independent chair was voted down last year. 

Facebook had then argued that an independent chair could “cause uncertainty, confusion, and inefficiency in board and management function and relations."

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