Facebook rejects two proposals to reduce Zuckerberg’s control over the company

Board rejects proposal to replace founder as chairman at annual meeting

Facebook’s board on Wednesday turned down a proposal to replace Zuckerberg as chairman. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Facebook’s board on Wednesday turned down a proposal to replace Zuckerberg as chairman. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

 

Facebook has rejected two proposals intended to diminish chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s control over the company, an expected though disappointing outcome for those worried about the chief executive’s power.

The board on Wednesday turned down a proposal to replace Mr Zuckerberg as chairman with an independent representative. Mr Zuckerberg, who has served as chairman since 2012, controls about 58 per cent of the voting shares, according to a regulatory filing.

During Facebook’s annual meeting, the board also rejected a proposal to eliminate the special class of super-voting shares that gives Mr Zuckerberg a controlling stake in the company. Under the plan, investors would have been awarded one vote per share. The Zuckerberg-controlled board has rejected similar motions in years past.

Frustrate shareholders

While not surprising, the votes are likely to frustrate shareholders who argue Mr Zuckerberg has too much power at a time Facebook needs more independent oversight to address its regulatory threats, privacy scandals and public controversies.

Facebook also agreed to reappoint its current slate of board directors including chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and Palantir Technologies co-founder Peter Thiel.

– Bloomberg