Major US Public Funds Seek to Remove Zuckerberg as Facebook Chairman

Key Facebook investors join push to oust Mark Zuckerberg as chairman

Influential Facebook shareholders back proposal to remove Zuckerberg as chairman

On Wednesday, a number of state and city treasurers joined a proposal asking Facebook's board of directors to remove Zuckerberg as chairman.

Facebook isn't just facing increasingly skeptical investors and consumers.

A similar plan a year ago was approved by 51 percent of the independent investors, but Zuckerberg controls mass numbers of Class B shares in the company, which have "10 times the voting power of class A shares" owned by the public. It also dealt with user trust and privacy backlash following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and a recent data breach that compromised up to 30 million user accounts.

State treasurers from Illinois, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania, which oversee pension funds, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer have filed the proposal, which is similar to a failed 2017 attempt to remove Zuckerberg from his leadership position, Reuters reported. It was initially filed by Trillium Asset Management in June. "We need Facebook's insular boardroom to make a serious commitment to addressing real risks - reputational, regulatory, and the risk to our democracy".

The proposal said lack of independent board chair and oversight has contributed to Facebook "mishandling" a number of severe controversies, including Russian meddling in USA elections and the Cambridge Analytica data leak.

"Facebook's governance structure continues to put its investors at risk", said Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs in the release.

Major Facebook investors want Mark Zuckerberg to step down as chairman of the company's board following several high-profile scandals.

The New York City Pension Funds owned about 4.5 million Facebook shares as of July 31.

The proposal calls on Facebook's board to make the role of board chair an independent position.

The proposal is largely symbolic since Zuckerberg holds absolute control of the board.

Shares held by the Rhode Island Treasury were not immediately available.

Having founded Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is unlikely to cede any control over his company, especially to outsiders.

The recent data breach that led to data of almost 30 million users being stolen added fresh fuel to Facebook's troubles.

While Facebook declined to comment, it quoted it's response to the prior proposal in which it said that it did not believe an independent chairman would "provide appreciably better direction and performance, and instead could cause uncertainty, confusion, and inefficiency in board and management function and relations".

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