Apr 12, 2019

Facebook nominates Peggy Alford, first black woman, to board


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.

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World coronavirus updates: Italy becomes 2nd country to exceed 100,000 cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain and Italy extended lockdown deadlines on Monday, as Italy became the second country in the world to surpass 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 755,000 and the death toll topped 36,000 by Monday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 11,500 total deaths.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 143,672 — Total deaths: 2,575 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Hospital ship the USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan.
  4. Business latest: Macy's will furlough the majority of it's workers this week, as the chain's stores remain closed.
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U.S. coronavirus updates: Majority of governors order residents to stay home

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

At least 29 state governors have ordered their residents to stay home to promote social distancing and limit community spread from the coronavirus pandemic as the U.S. copes with more than 144,000 positive cases — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 killed over 2,500 people in the U.S. by Monday. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,700 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 4,800.

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