Silicon Valley Wary of Shareholder Rights (NY Times)

Internet IPOs favor founders over public shareholders; boards’ influence limited.

While institutional investors push for shareholder rights, the initial public offerings of companies like Facebook and LinkedIn enshrine the rights of the founders at the expense of public shareholders, according to an article in the New York Times. And the boards of Internet companies may have less input than those at other public companies.

The article cites a recent appearance by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in which Hastings argued that the main job of boards is to “replace and compensate the C.E.O.,” rather than to weigh in on big decisions. It also notes that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told his board about the company’s $1 billion acquisition of Facebook only about 24 hours before it occurred.

 

See the full article.

 

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