2018 is certainly one of the worst years for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. After successive data breaches leading Zuckerberg to testify in front of Congress, now several shareholders are pushing to dethrone him from his position as Chairman of the board.
On Wednesday, state treasurers of Rhode Island, Illinois, and Pennsylvania raised signed a proposal issued by Trillium Asset Management in June. The proposal suggests that Mark Zuckerberg should be removed as the Chairman for mishandling several high profile scandals.
Major shareholders will vote the proposal in the Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting scheduled for May 2019. The proposal demands shareholders to appoint an independent chairman.
New York City Comptroller’s official statement read:
“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.
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, its shareowners, and ultimately the hard-earned pensions of thousands of New York City workers. An independent board chair is essential to moving Facebook forward from this mess, and to reestablish trust with Americans and investors alike.”
This is not the first time that plans are in motion to disrupt Mark Zuckerberg’s position. In April, a similar attempt was made, but Zuckerberg holds 60 percent voting rights. Therefore, the plan was unsuccessful. However, this time, involvement of shareholders in the plan could be a turning point. Several major shareholders like The New York City Pension Funds that own 4.5 million Facebook shares, The Pennsylvania Treasury holds 38,737 shares, Trillium is the owner of 53,000 shares, are backing the proposal.
Facebook has not yet issued any official statement regarding the proposal.