A group of investors representing assets for almost 3 billion dollars in shares, is preparing the final act to the demise of Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, at a time when tensions among shareholders reached the highest since 2012 when the company was made public.
The last year has seen the social network involved in a series of scandals: Cambridge Analytica case, Myanmar slaughters, September 2018’s massive hack, December 2018’s bug that exposed the photos of 6.8 million users to third parties. There’s fertile ground for criticisms and the investors are blaming Facebook’s totalitarian internal structure, in which Zuckerberg is almost untouchable, of being inadequate in front of such events.
Scott Stringer is New York City’s Comptroller and owns 895 million dollars in Facebook shares. He has seriously advanced the proposal of abolishing the dual-share structure of the company, (that allows Zuckerberg and his team to have limitless powers) and assigning the leadership to an independent CEO.
The State Treasurer of Illinois Michael Frerichs, owner of 35 million dollars in shares, declared that Mark Zuckerberg is ‘his own boss’ and this doesn’t work well anymore. Jonas Kron of the Park Fundation, a shareholder worth 10,5 million dollars, has invited the CEO to follow his mentor’s example and do what Bill Gates did with Microsoft in the year 2000.
Most of the independent shareholders voted in favor of these proposals at the yearly assemble but they have been, as a matter of fact, ignored. Zuckerberg’s leadership has been for this reason declared tyrannical.
On the other side, Facebook proved a pretty safe investment. After 2012’s IPO shares grew by 400%, revenues grew to 40 billion dollars and there are 2,2 billion active users a month. All the competing social networks have been crushed, and Zuckerberg is still holding onto a solid 75% of his company.
As declared by Dylan Sage of Baldwin Brothers, something really significant has to happen before Facebook starts to change. Unfortunately, we are talking about more scandals like distorted elections, increase of hate crimes all over the world and a substantial reduction in revenues. And no shareholder likes a reduction in revenues.