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Richard Drew / AP

There has been a lot of tech and trader talk lately about founder control, in light of both the Snap stock structure and Uber's ongoing sadness soirée. At its heart have been two competing theses:

  • Pro: Such arrangements usually only apply to visionary founders who have demonstrated an ability to successfully execute and generate major market traction, either at a past company (e.g., Jack Dorsey at Square) or at their current one (e.g., Travis Kalanick at Uber). The investment is as much about the person as it is about the idea, which is at the heart of venture capital's "founder friendly" movement.
  • Con: The board of directors must be able to fire the CEO, or else it's really just a board of advisors. You may have invested in "the person," but sometimes that person changes or does something unforeseen that is extraordinarily damaging to one or more of the company's many stakeholders (other shareholders, employees, customers, etc.). With great voting rights comes no responsibility.

The latter argument is quite persuasive from a corporate governance standpoint. On the other hand, a young Facebook is probably sold to Yahoo if Zuckerberg didn't have the ability to say no. And Snap likely would be owned by Facebook (which is already owned by Yahoo in this scenario, all of which makes me want to write a wonderfully nerdy Choose Your Own Adventure book).

Again, these cases are outliers. Most entrepreneurs don't get voting rights in excess of their actual equity. But such outliers are where the most money is often at stake, so it seems that there must be some middle ground. Kind of like a limited no trade clause in pro sports, although the exact construction remains elusive.

Go deeper

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McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

7 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.