by 👨💻 Adam Yardley
It’s hardly been a smooth year for Mark Zuckerberg nor for Facebook in general. 2018 ushered in a number of scandals with regard to how certain user data has been handled, with the Cambridge Analytica saga perhaps being the most high-profile of the bunch. It’s a saga which remains looming over the social network’s head, and, despite calls for Zuckerberg to step down from at least his chairman position, the mogul has remained in power at the brand. Shareholder and funder concerns have been rumbling for a while now, in light of the press Facebook has created as well as how things are reportedly being run behind the curtain – and this week, it appears demands for the creator of the most prominent social network to step down are circulating once again.
▶ Many Questions Still Unanswered in Facebook's Latest Data Leak
A proposal by Trillium Asset Management was made back in June to request that Zuckerberg be replaced in his role as Facebook’s chairman of the board to make way for an independent alternative. The proposal has re-entered the news in recent days as it has received concrete backing from state treasurers in Illinois, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania – and with New York City’s comptroller also on board to suggest that shareholders wish Zuckerberg to make tracks from his chairman role, it’s clear that there are a few major bodies and financial heavyweights willing to lower the boom if necessary.
▶ Powerful Facebook Investors Propose Mark Zuckerberg Step Down As Chairman
The proposal to remove Zuckerberg from his position not only surrounds the various scandals Facebook has faced in the past 12 to 18 months – including allegations of Russian election meddling via the network, the Cambridge Analytica data leaks, the fake news phenomenon and other ongoing social concerns – but also the fact that it is reportedly quite rare for major companies and brands to possess a joint CEO and chairman. Zuckerberg, at Facebook, holds both roles simultaneously. It’s this alongside the brand’s rather fraught year of scandals that have brought the concept of Facebook’s chairman to separate his roles to light.
Scott Stringer, NYC’s comptroller, suggested that Facebook take action with immediate effect. “We need Facebook’s insular boardroom to make a serious commitment to addressing real risks – reputational, regulatory, and the risk to our democracy – that impact the company, its shareowners, and ultimately the hard-earned pensions of thousands of New York City workers.” Will Facebook, and Zuckerberg, sit up and take notice?