Monday was a good day for the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook held its annual shareholder meeting, and the majority of the people paying the bills decided to give the internet entrepreneur full control of the organization.
Zuckerberg proposed the shareholders a new three-share class structure that gives the man more than 60% of the decision-making power without losing the ability to sell their stock actions. After listening to both the opposing and the dissenting members, the consensus was to approve the chairman’s plan.
It is rare that the shareholders of such a huge company allow one person to call all the shots. According to the people opposing the idea, the new structure not only leaves Zuckerberg in command of the ship but also keeps supervision away. In other words, he can do whatever he wants without even having to report it, and if someone does not like it, they can sell their stock actions.
Silicon Valley does not like to be criticized
— Geekjournal (@GeekJournalNews) June 20, 2016
Monday also brought sad news for the online press world. Gawker Media filed in for bankruptcy earlier in the day. The company that specializes in online journalism has been the target of many lawsuits that ultimately drained all its money. Surprisingly, Facebook is partially connected to this.
Back in May, Peter Thiel who is one of the eight members of the board on Facebook and also, one of Donald Trump’s delegates confessed that he had funded a proxy lawsuit against Gawker Media in secret. Moreover, all the community in Silicon Valley praised him for doing so. They labeled Gawker as an evil doing company that likes bullying people online.
Nonetheless, when the newsgroup filled in for bankruptcy today, many people felt that Thiel had used his monetary muscle to break down an independent news company for criticizing him. The situation got worse when Thiel’s lawyers threatened Gawker with another multimillionaire lawsuit for writing an article that heavily criticized Donald Trump, which is very shady considering Mr. Thiel is one of the delegates behind the Republican candidate.
Even Jeff Bezos, the man behind Amazon, told Peter Thiel to grow a thicker skin when he overreacted after Gawker published a couple of articles making fun of his some of his financial decisions.
Facebook keeps Thiel on the board
— Turtle Media (@TurtleMediaWeb) April 29, 2016
Facebook as a company claims that one of its primary goals is to give the independent press a chance to tell their stories which are great because not everybody has the financial muscle to compete against the big news chains, and many entrepreneurs use the internet. However, one of the first decisions of the company’s head after gaining total control contradicts this ideal.
At the shareholders meeting, it is custom to choose the eight board members, some of them stay and some of them leave; it’s normal. And for Peter Thiel, the scenario was uncertain. He was surrounded by controversy when the committee gathered to take their decision. Some people were surprised when Zuckerberg voted for keeping Thiel as on the board.
Both Thiel’s actions and Facebook’s decisions startled a lot of individuals. They agree that the company did not know its board member was using his personal wealth to destroy an independent journalism company, but they also said, that by keeping him on the payroll, Facebook was endorsing using the money to smoother businesses that put members of the Silicon Valley in the spotlight.
Source: Business Insider