Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg survived a leadership vote Thursday at the social media company’s annual meeting.
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Zuckerberg, 35, will keep his title, despite calls for his removal as chairman.
“At its core, this shareholder proposal is about the risk of concentrating too much power in one person — any person,” argued Jonas Kron, senior vice president at Trillium Asset Management LLC — a major shareholder that suggested the ousting of Zuckerberg, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Joe Torsella, Pennsylvania’s treasurer who attended the meeting, agreed it was "common-sense policy" to separate the board chair and CEO positions.
“Severe mismanagement of scandals and controversies by Facebook have put the company’s reputation, shareholder value and investor confidence at extreme risk," argued Torsella, per WSJ.
Rejection of the proposal Thursday wasn't surprising, given Zuckerberg controls about 58 percent of the vote.
The entrance sign to the Facebook headquarters in 2018. (Reuters)
Ahead of the meeting, an activist group, Fight for the Future, projected the words “Fire Zuck” on the side of the building where the meeting was being held. The group has repeatedly called for Zuckerberg’s dismissal due to the company’s issues with privacy. The social media giant has also been grappling problems of fake news and hate speech being circulated on the platform.
Protesters greeted shareholders ahead of the meeting at Hotel Nia in Menlo Park, Calif., with an “inflatable angry emoji.”
Zuckerberg and Facebook have recently come under fire from regulators and shareholders after reports claimed the social media company gathered personal information from 87 million users without their consent and shared it with consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
Former Facebook executive Alex Stamos said last week he believes the best way to fix problems at the company is for Zuckerberg to step aside as CEO.
Like Zuckerberg, a number of other CEOs have also faced similar votes including Inditex, the owner of Zara. Executive Chairman Pablo Isla agreed to submit to the company’s board appointing Carlos Crespo as the CEO. Investors in Boeing decided to vote down a proposal that would have divided the roles of chairman and CEO. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who serves as both roles, faced scrutiny after recent 737 Max jet crashes.
Fox Business’ Joseph Williams and The Associated Press contributed to this report.