Activists call on Facebook shareholders to dump Mark Zuckerberg as chairman
On Monday, civil rights and corporate accountability activist groups urged Facebook shareholders to vote against keeping CEO Mark Zuckerberg as chairman of the board, pointing to the company’s user privacy issues and his majority voting powers.
In an SEC filing, the organizations Color of Change and Majority Action declared their intention to inform Facebook’s shareholders. The action was taken as a result of the Facebook board of directors’ decision not to implement shareholder requests for best practices and governance improvements.
Eli Kasargod-Staub, executive director of Majority Action, said: “Facebook is an example of poor corporate governance, and the repercussions have affected shareholders, vulnerable communities, and public trust alike.”
The corporation has not yet provided shareholders with a thorough assessment of the reasons behind its governance and oversight failings, let alone a thorough plan to fix them.
According to Kasargod-Staub, “vast majorities” of Facebook shareholders have expressed a desire for one share, one vote and enhanced governance through the appointment of an independent chairman.
According to the organizations, Zuckerberg has undue control over Facebook because he possesses 57.7% of the voting power in the firm.
READ ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg thinks ‘normal people’ won’t want Neuralink chips in their brains anytime soon
Rashad Robinson, CEO of Color of Change, stated that “Facebook’s tiered governance structure is a danger to the civil rights of its black users and to the financial interests of its stockholders.” “Lasting change cannot be subject to the whims of a single person to address the misinformation, bigotry, violent movements, and data breaches that put users, especially black users, at risk.”
The groups demanded that Facebook increase openness by disclosing its gender pay disparity and organizational structure, as well as that all directors be elected in uncontested elections by those who received a majority of the votes cast.
Color of Change claimed to have worked with Facebook for more than four years and during that time obtained a civil rights audit from Facebook, which was then made public. According to the group, 35% of outside shareholders rejected Zuckerberg’s candidacy for the board last year.
Two months prior to the SEC filing, WhatsApp Vice President Chris Daniels and Chief Product Officer Chris Cox of Facebook left the firm in what CEO Mark Zuckerberg called a “new chapter” for the company.
After years of criticism regarding the company’s treatment of customers’ personal data, Zuckerberg said earlier this year that Facebook will now place more of an emphasis on privacy.
After it was discovered that Facebook had given the data-mining business Cambridge Analytica access to the personal data of millions of users, the company came under fire last year.
The “This Is Your Digital Life” quiz app was used by Cambridge University scholar Aleksandr Kogan and his organization Global Science Research to collect data on 270,000 users in 2015. They also collected data on the users’ friends who did not take the questionnaire. To target political advertising, the business exploited demographic data from 87 million Facebook users.
Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower and co-founder of Cambridge Analytica, claimed in March that the organization continued to retain Facebook user data despite Facebook’s requests for it to be deleted.