As news reports state that Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify to Congress about the latest revelations, Michael Connor, executive director of Open MIC – a nonprofit that seeks to foster shareholder engagement to improve tech companies – shared the following statement calling for Zuckerberg to resign or be fired, and for Facebook’s board to separate the roles of company CEO and Chairman.
“Cambridge Analytica is just one of many mistakes Mark Zuckerberg has made at the helm of one of the world’s most influential companies. While he has acknowledged some of his errors as a result of the current uproar, simply testifying before Congressional committee and making ambiguous promises to change Facebook’s questionable practices is not enough. Shareholders have called for Facebook to report on the scope of abuses at Facebook – from data misuse to hate speech to election interference – and also for the board to appoint a new committee to oversee risks at the company. But Zuckerberg has offered muddled responses, refusing to provide any kind of concrete solutions, and the board has been silent.
“If any other publicly-held company continually failed to improve its performance on such mission-critical issues, the CEO would have resigned or been fired by now. Zuckerberg must face consequences for his inaction, which is why Open MIC is calling on him to resign – or for Facebook’s board to fire him. At the very least, the company should take steps to separate the roles of CEO and Chairman – both of which Zuckerberg currently holds – thus providing some improved governance for the company. Facebook impacts the lives of hundreds of millions every day; it’s time for a CEO who will act quickly and transparently to address the platform’s problems and stop endangering us all.”
Open MIC has supported the filing of two shareholder proposals this year:
One, from Arjuna Capital and the New York State Common Retirement Fund, calls for better policies on election interference, hate speech and illegitimate accounts, and the dissemination of violence through Facebook Live, asking for an assessment report on abuses and how to address them
Another from Trillium Asset Management on behalf of the Park Foundation, seeks to establish a Risk Oversight Committee to better review Facebook’s impact on society and how to mitigate risks