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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Face Shareholders Vote Amid Pressure of Stepping Down

By: Shouvik Das

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Last Updated: May 30, 2019, 13:48 IST

File Photo of Mark Zuckerberg

File Photo of Mark Zuckerberg

At the Facebook Annual General Meeting today, Zuckerberg's position as the chairman of Facebook will be put to test, although it is unlikely that he will lose control of his company.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to face a vote of leadership at the company's annual general meeting being held today, to step down as Chairman. However, according to reports across the web, Zuckerberg is unlikely to relinquish control and step down as Chairman of the company, as he already holds 60 percent of the company's shares.

Against the backdrop of massive privacy concerns, data breaches and Facebook's brutish data collection practices, there have been growing concern regarding the perception of the social media among stakeholders and users alike. Multiple investor groups, including part-significant shareholders, have been advocating against Zuckerberg's continued role as the CEO of Facebook, and has been asking for him to step down from his position.

Stakeholders have also called for the company to be broken up in order to address allegations of anti-trust and monopolistic practices. While the plea was led by one of Zuckerberg's long-time friend and Facebook's own co-founders Chris Hughes, CEO Zuckerberg has so far refused to comply to such statements or requests, stating that one does break up a company simply because it has turned successful. However, issues of Facebook's industry monopoly have been brought up repeatedly, even during Zuckerberg's hearing with the US Senate. While Zuckerberg had claimed that his company is not a monopoly, and Facebook "recognises specific industry rivals", his comments did not convince anyone of Facebook's real position in the market.

Many have questioned the amount of control that Zuckerberg can assert on Facebook, and his position of power with 60 percent of Facebook's shares mean that he can practically override any decision that his board takes, which goes against his will. This, in turn, would give in to running a billion-dollar technology behemoth at the whims of one man — a situation that many shareholders, governance officials, users and general observers alike are not comfortable with. Ex-security chief of Facebook, Alex Stamos, had also joined in urging Zuckerberg to step down and relinquish some control, in order to soak up and control the steady headwind of allegations that Facebook has faced in the industry.

The bigger picture of Facebook's future will become clearer post Facebook's annual general meeting, word about which should reach us towards the latter part of the day.