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Paypal

Facebook announced Friday that Peggy Alford, Senior Vice President, Core Markets of PayPal Holdings, Inc., has been nominated for election to the company's board of directors. The company also said that politician and businessman Erskine Bowles and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, both of whom have been on Facebook's board since 2011, will not be nominated for re-election at the company's annual shareholder meeting in May.

Why it matters: Alford will become the first black woman nominated to Facebook's board in its history. Bowles' departure is significant, given that he was a vocal critic of Facebook's handling of Russian meddling on its platform. Facebook says it doesn't nominate board members over 72-years-old as a part of a long-standing policy. Bowles is 73.

Details: Alford, if confirmed at Facebook's annual stockholders meeting on May 30, will be one of of three women on Facebook's board, including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. She becomes the second African American after CEO Ken Chenault.

  • Alford was named PayPal SVP in March. She previously served as CFO and Head of Operations for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organization from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan.
  • In a statement, Alford said she is excited about joining Facebook's board because the company's "drive and desire to face hard issues head-on while continuing to improve on the amazing connection experiences they have built over the years."
“Peggy is one of those rare people who’s an expert across many different areas — from business management to finance operations to product development. I know she will have great ideas that help us address both the opportunities and challenges facing our company."
— Mark Zuckerberg in a statement

The big picture: The nomination of Alford comes weeks after Facebook reached a historic settlement with the ACLU and other labor groups over advertising practices that allegedly discriminated against minorities.

  • Facebook has made changes to mitigate this problem, including removing ad targeting options for housing, job and credit ads, but still faces scrutiny.
  • Shortly after reaching that settlement, Facebook was hit with charges by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for violating the Fair Housing Act by encouraging, enabling and causing housing discrimination through the company’s advertising platform.

Facebook’s current board members include Mark Zuckerberg; Marc L. Andreessen, Erskine B. Bowles, Kenneth I. Chenault, Susan D. Desmond-Hellmann, Reed Hastings, Sheryl K. Sandberg, Peter A. Thiel and Jeffrey D. Zients.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
11 mins ago - Technology

Tech's race problem is all about power

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As problematic as the tech industry's diversity statistics are, activists say the focus on those numbers overlooks a more fundamental problem — one less about numbers than about power.

What they're saying: In tech, they argue, decision-making power remains largely concentrated in the hands of white men. The result is an industry whose products and working conditions belie the industry rhetoric about changing the world for the better.

Mayors fear long-lasting effects of COVID-19

Data: Menino Survey of Mayors; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. mayors tend to be an optimistic bunch, but a poll released Thursday finds them unusually pessimistic about prospects for post-pandemic recovery.

Why it matters: In a survey of mayors of 130 U.S. cities with more than 75,000 residents, 80% expect racial health disparities to widen, and an alarming number predict that schools, transit systems and small businesses will continue to suffer through 2021 and beyond.

Coronavirus hospitalizations top 100,000 for the first time

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking ProjectHarvard Global Health Institute; Cartogram: Danielle Alberti and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 100,000 Americans are now in the hospital with coronavirus infections — a new record, an indication that the pandemic is continuing to get worse and a reminder that the virus is still very dangerous.

Why it matters: Hospitalizations are a way to measure severe illnesses — and severe illnesses are on the rise across the U.S. In some areas, health systems and health care workers are already overwhelmed, and outbreaks are only getting worse.