Thousands are demanding Mark Zuckerberg step down as Facebook's boss. Here's why

By Nadim Nyker
09 February 2017

1 500 shareholders want Zuck gone.

1 500 Facebook shareholders have demanded that the company's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, step down as chairman of the board of directors.

A photo posted by Mark Zuckerberg (@zuck) on

A proposal by SumofUs.org has asked Zuckerberg (32) to step down, stating that he has too much influence in the company.

A petition by the corporate watchdog group was signed by 330 000 people, which include 1 500 shareholders, after Facebook's decision last year to start issuing new non-voting Class C shares, which ensures Zuckerberg will retain control of the company but still fulfil his promise to give away 99 percent of his wealth.

This comes at a peculiar time as Facebook's share price has grown from strength to strength over the years, but despite Zuckerberg's positive influence in the company, the shareholders feel that an independent chairperson should “oversee the executives of the company, improve corporate governance and set a more accountable, pro-shareholder agenda".

In their argument, SumofUs states that Facebook “faces increasing criticism regarding its perceived role in the promotion of" fake news, that Facebook allows the targeting of ad views based on race and that the social network provides information to government agencies.

The petition calls for "public accountability regarding the human rights impacts of Facebook's practices".

The proposal comes despite a number of charitable ventures by Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan (31). The couple recently announced a $50 million (R675 million) research plan called the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, for which they've hired 47 of the world's best engineers and scientists to study the prevention and treatment of human disease.

A photo posted by Mark Zuckerberg (@zuck) on

Other initiatives by the couple include donating $3,1 million (R41 million) to help families in Palo Alto, California, who've been evicted from their homes. Incidentally, this comes after they recently purchased four houses around their mansion in the city to stop neighbours moving in.

But Zuckerberg, who's been a member of the board since 2012 and is still the majority shareholder, is unlikely to step down. Facebook has shown a quarterly profit of $3,57 billion (R48 billion), more than double the $1,56 billion (R21 billion) it reported a year ago, so . . .

via GIPHY

Sources: India Times, venturebeat.com, Chicago Tribune, Indian Express, sfgate.com

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