More turbulent times for Facebook. The stock of the world’s leading social media giant took a beating this week as the company recorded slow growth and disappointing profits. Now a group of shareholders are trying to fire Mark Zuckerberg as chairman of Facebook. They’re citing the recent data scandals as evidence that it is time for new leadership.
“Investment company Trillium Asset Management, who has about $11 million in Facebook stock, filed a proposal on Wednesday to break up Zuckerberg’s role as both chairman and CEO,” The Daily Mail writes.
Shareholders are upset that they can’t question Zuckerberg’s power. He holds 60% of Facebook’s voting shares and serves as the company’s chair and their CEO.
“A CEO who also serves as chair can exert excessive influence on the board and its agenda, weakening the board’s oversight of management,” the proposal reads.
“Separating the chair and CEO positions reduces this conflict, and an independent chair provides the clearest separation of power between the CEO and the rest of the board.”
Trillium blames Zuckerberg for Facebook “missing or mishandling” notable “severe controversies.”
“The specific examples the shareholders used include: Russian meddling in US election, the sharing of 87 million users’ personal data with Cambridge Analytica, proliferating fake news and social unrest in Myanmar and Sri Lanka,” DM notes.
Within Facebook, though, Zuckerberg still has loyal allies.That doesn’t change the growing list of complaints about the company’s performance, though, and stockholders are taking notice.
The Daily Mail compiled a list of the damage:
- Shares plummeting by some 21 percent, wiping out an estimated $150 billion in market value
- European privacy rules that went into effect in May, which partly resulted in Europe users dropping from 377 million to 376 million
- Fallout from Cambridge Analytica scandal in which personal data from 87 million Facebook users was collected, prompting several apologies from Zuckerberg
- Facebook’s new video feature allowing Infowars on its platform, despite it peddling conspiracy theories including that Sandy Hook was a hoax
- Zuckerberg was also called on to remove harassing comments from Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists directed at the parents of victims
The 21 percent drop hit those shareholders hard. The plunge wiped out an estimated $150 billion in market value.
Zuckerberg might be disappointed, too, as his own personal wealth took a steep decline. His losses took him four notches on Forbes’ World Billionaires List.
“He woke up as the fourth richest person in the world with an $82.4 billion net worth on Wednesday,” DM writes, “but was in the eighth spot by the end of the day.”
Money at Facebook is closely tied to traffic, and that fell, too. Analysts estimated there would be 2.25 billion users for the month, but that number has come in at 2.23 billion. That’s a loss of 20 million.
Still, the news isn’t all bad. Facebook’s revenues still grew. The $13.23 billion in revenue, though, came in below the $13.36 mark analysts had expected.