According to an analysis of the results by Open Mic — an organization that works with activist shareholders to improve corporate governance at America’s biggest companies — independent shareholders overwhelmingly backed two proposals to weaken Mark Zuckerberg’s power.
Some 68% of ordinary investors, those who are not part of management or the board, want to oust Zuckerberg as chairman and bring in an independent figure to chair Facebook’s board. This was a significant increase on the 51% who voted in favor of an almost identical proposal last year.
Shareholders are furious at the way Zuckerberg has handled a series of Facebook scandals, including election interference on the social network in 2016 and the giant Cambridge Analytica data breach last year. They think the company would benefit from an independent chairman holding Zuckerberg and his top team accountable.
Facebook’s share price fell dramatically last year following the Cambridge Analytica disaster, while weaker than expected growth compounded the downturn. The stock has not fully recovered after hitting a high of $217.50 on July 25 last year. Shares plunged 7.5% to $164.15 on Monday following news of a potential antitrust investigation.
Furthermore, 83.2% of outside shareholders also backed a proposal to scrap Facebook’s dual-class share structure. Currently, Class A shareholders have one vote per share, while Class B shareholders get 10 votes per share. Management and directors control Class B shares.