Company Engagements in Our Accountability Work

In our accountability work, we engage publicly-traded companies in the media and tech sectors on behalf of socially responsible investors in order to change corporate practices. These engagements, some of which are detailed below, represent some of the most consequential debates in the public sphere today. We engage these companies, usually with partners, through shareholder proposals, letters and comments because we believe these companies must be responsive and accountable to the greater public beyond their board table. Our goal is to cultivate a more open and democratic media and tech landscape.

 
 
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alphabet Inc.
stock: GOOG
CEO: Larry Page
revenue: 109.65 billion usd
HQ: mountain view, california
Subsidiaries: google, youtube, waymo, sidewalk labs

Alphabet Inc. is a company Open MIC has sought to have sustained involvement with over the years through various means. In a typical year, Open MIC files one or more proposals engaging Alphabet Inc. and/or one of its subsidiaries. These proposals are filed and co-filed with a number of our partnering organizations. The most recent effort Open Mic has taken up with the Company pertains to the development of a censored search tool aimed at the Chinese market. Open MIC has also lead a multi-year campaign advocating for better content governance across YouTube, Google Search, and Google Ads.

πŸ“‚ 2019 Proposal β€” Google Search in China
πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Content Governance
πŸ“‚ 2017 Proposal β€” β€œFake News”

 
 

amazon.com, inc
stock: amzn
ceo: jeff bezos
revenue: 177.9 billion usd
HQ: seattle, washington
subsidiaries: Audible, zappos, abebooks.com, souq.com

Engaging with Amazon.com is a new area of work for Open MIC. Recent efforts include joining with many partners in calling for the restriction of sales of facial recognition software by government and law enforcement agencies. Open MIC strongly advocates for individual privacy rights and will likely file proposals on this and related topics for years to come.

πŸ“‚ 2019 Proposal β€” Risk of Sales of Facial Recognition Software

 
 
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facebook, Inc
Stock: FB
CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
Revenue: 40.7 billion usd
HQ: menlo park, california
Subsidiaries: Instagram, whatsapp inc., oculus vr

Open MIC has engaged extensively with Facebook, Inc around its social networking website, and its accompanying Messenger application. This engagement has included supporting proposals around improving content governance on the platform (an issue that Facebook recently responded to) as well as advocating for the establishment of an independent board chairman, as well as a risk oversight committee.

πŸ“‚ 2019 Proposal β€” Independent Board Chairman
πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Content Governance
πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Risk Oversight Committee
πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Open Letter

twitter inc.
stocK:
twtr
ceo: jack dorsey
Revenue: 2.44 billion usd
HQ: san francisco, california
subsidiaries: mopub, tellapart, inc., wiredset

Open MIC compiled a shareholder proposal for review at Twitter’s 2018 annual meeting about content governance, and instances of disinformation on the platform related to Russia’s election interference during the 2016 presidential election. Open MIC will continue to explore with partners ways to call for increased accountability around these issues.

πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Content Governance

 
 
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apple inc.
stock:
aapl
ceo: tim cook
Revenue: 265.6 billion usd
HQ: Cupertino, california
subsidiaries: beats electronics, filemaker, shazam entertainment

Open MIC and partners called on Apple to increase racial and gender diversity among its staff in leadership in a 2018 shareholder proposal. This proposal called on the Company to tie compensation for CEO Tim Cook to improved diversity metrics. Open MIC and partners will continue its work with Apple on this topic.

πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Diversity in Hiring

verizon communications inc.
stock: vz
ceo: hans vestberg
revenue: 126 billion usd
hq: new york, new york
subsidiaries: verizon wireless, aol, verizon fios, oath

Open MIC and partners observed that Verizon Communications Inc. could improve its transparency and its public measures around cybersecurity and threats to data. In a shareholder proposal, Open MIC and partners made clear expectations for Verizon to provide reports about cybersecurity and data privacy at regular intervals in the future, and tie such efforts to executive compensation.

πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Cyber Security and Data Privacy

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additional targets

The companies that Open MIC engages are not limited to the above. In the past, Open MIC has worked more closely with a range of telecommunication companies including AT&T and Time Warner, and other technology companies including Microsoft and Comcast.