Updated May 31, 2018

Facebook shareholder presses to replace Zuckerberg as board chair

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images

Facebook shareholders attending the company’s annual meeting Thursday will be the targets of a campaign urging them to replace CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who also chairs the company's board, with an independent chair.

Why it matters: It’s the first move in a progressive coalition’s efforts to target Facebook with a political-style campaign focused on calls for regulators to break up the social media empire.

The details:

  • The “Freedom from Facebook” coalition, a collection of progressive groups like Open Markets Institute and Demand Progress, plans to fly a plane above the company’s Menlo Park headquarters during the annual meeting — dragging a banner that reads “You Broke Democracy.”
  • One member of the coalition, SumOfUs, is an institutional shareholder of Facebook urging other shareholders to “withhold” on Zuckerberg’s appointment to the board in favor of an independent chair. (SumOfUs filed an exempt solicitation letter with the SEC to this effect.)
  • The group called for the appointment of a risk oversight committee, and a report on how the company is managing content governance — including election interference, fake news and hate speech.
  • There will also be a digital ad campaign targeting the shareholder meeting and Facebook’s office locations around the country. (View the “Don’t Get Zucked” ad here.)

Reality check: The shareholder proposal doesn’t stand a chance of getting approved (Zuckerberg himself holds majority voting control of the company) and the current FTC isn’t interested in breaking up Facebook. Still, this is the start of what could be a sustained campaign and drum-beat behind the coalition’s calls for more regulatory action and new accountability measures.

Go deeper: David McCabe reported the details of the coalition's launch earlier this month.

Go deeper

Live updates: Possible U.S. community spread of coronavirus as more countries report 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.

The CDC said Wednesday U.S. clinicians have found the novel coronavirus in a person who did not recently return from a foreign country nor knowingly have contact with anyone infected, as six more countries reported their first cases.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 mins ago - Health

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Milwaukee Molson Coors brewery complex on Wednesday, including the shooter, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

What's happening: Police said "there is no active threat" just before 6 pm ET, but noted the scene remains active. Police chief Alfonso Morales told reporters that officers have "more than 20 buildings we have to secure" at the complex and they do not currently have all employees accounted for, as more than 1,000 were at the complex during the shooting.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response


President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In the wake of a market sell-off and warnings from health officials that there's a real threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., Trump sought to reassure the nation and Wall Street that the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy