From Bloomberg Gadfly:
Facebook Inc.'s surprise decision to spike a controversial stock plan was viewed as the little-guy shareholders standing up to Mark Zuckerberg when the company’s compliant board would not. But Facebook directors -- with a notable exception -- actually did a good job in tough circumstances.
Facebook said on Friday that it would not proceed with the planned creation of a type of stock intended to solidify Zuckerberg's control over the company. A shareholder lawsuit that contended the new stock was unfair to them was set to go to trial this week. Facebook settled the litigation at the last minute and killed the new stock before it went into effect.Previously:
Zuckerberg’s explanation for the change of heart was that Facebook’s stock has climbed since the stock plan was proposed 18 months ago and that his shares are worth enough to both sell billions of dollars in stock to fund his charitable foundation and still maintain control of the company. It’s also sensible for Facebook to avoid potentially more negative publicity given the scrutiny the company is under for its role in spreading election-related propaganda.
To be clear, this now-deceased stock plan was absolutely a case of Zuckerberg seeking to change the rules of a public company to his own benefit. But that’s inherent when shareholders agree to grant founders like Zuckerberg near-absolute power. The founders make the rules, and they can change them when they like.
Given the circumstances, then, Facebook directors deserve credit for squeezing notable concessions from Zuckerberg before they agreed to hand over a new type of stock. They weren’t necessarily dealt a strong hand in these negotiations. Yes, Zuckerberg wanted the stock restructuring to ensure his voting power could stay in comfortable territory. But in theory he had the power to approve his share-creation plan by decree....MORE
Facebook's Investors Criticize Marc Andreessen for Conflict of Interest
"Marc Andreessen Has a Pretty Creepy Relationship With Zuck" (FB)
"Facebook investors yell at CEO: Get the Zuck out of our boardroom!" (FB)
Zuckerberg says he has no plans to run for president: report (FB)
Mr. Zuckerberg still has to resolve the shareholder lawsuit on his "Ya got it, ya sell it, ya still got it"* controlling shareholder plan, now, after discovery, with more Andreessen.
Then he's going on his 50-state "meeting people in small towns-2017 tour".
Then he has to talk with President Obama's campaign wizard David Plouffe about whether David is happy in his brand-new perch at the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative.
Hell who knows, 2020 seems a long way off and right around the corner at the same time....
*I think the "...Got it, sell it, still got it" formulation is the punchline to "Why do Goldman bond salesmen envy hookers" or something, now used as voting control strategy in the Valley, see for example GOOG-GOOGL-GOOGLIEST (class B for Larry and Sergei with 10x votes).