Will Mark Zuckerberg stay on as Facebook chairman?

Daniel Fowler
October 20, 2018

In the aftermath of several high-profile scandals, 4 major USA public funds that hold shares in Facebook Inc on Wednesday proposed removing co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg from the chairman position of Facebook.

On Wednesday, state treasurers of Rhode Island, Illinois, and Pennsylvania raised signed a proposal issued by Trillium Asset Management in June. It called for Facebook to split the roles of CEO and chairman to loosen Zuckerberg's grip on the company.

The official joint announcement pointed out Facebook's critical role not only in today's society but of the global economy. The founder of Facebook holds the positions of CEO of the company as well as chairman of the board, thereby retaining both operational as well as corporate control over all decisions at Facebook.

Others named in the complaint are Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, Facebook India Head Ajit Mohan. The information comes from a recent Reuters report claiming that four major USA public funds that hold shares in Facebook Inc made this proposal.

A similar attempt to seek an independent chair was filed in 2017, however, this was defeated by Zuckerberg's majority control, making any such attempts largely symbolic at this stage.

This is not the first time that plans are in motion to disrupt Mark Zuckerberg's position. Facebook, which declined to comment for this story, opposed that proposal.

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has had to acknowledge that his social media platform's security make up is less strong than desired which has led to stolen-data for millions of its users. The reputation and credibility of Facebook as a business which can effectively operate in the digital economy has certainly been called into question, though considering Zuckerberg himself control 60% of the Facebook voting rights, it might prove to be a hard battle.

The investors involved in this resolution are largely the representatives of four major United States public funds, including New York City's $160 billion pension fund.

According to Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, while an independent chairman might not have prevented all the issues that have taken place, "there might have been fewer of these problems and less of a drop in share price" at Facebook.

A similar proposal to appoint an independent chair was put forward past year but it did not really pass.

Facebook chairman Mark is under pressure from shareholders to resign following recent privacy and election scandals.

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