Thanks to Scott Hirst‘s articles and papers on the subject, I can borrow his catchy label for one of biggest current problems in corporate governance. Frozen charters are supermajority provisions that are impossible to repeal. He appears to attribute that to the 2012 change by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which changed its policies to prohibit brokers from voting uninstructed shares on corporate governance proposals. I would lay a larger share of the blame on founders who wrote the frozen charters to forever retain a large degree of control. Regardless of who is to blame, frozen charters are a problem that needs fixed. Managers, boards, shareholders, Republicans and Democrats should all be able agree on a solution. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | Twitter
Mark Zuckerberg, the social media titan, needs to embrace a new model of ownership and corporate governance.
As Mark Zuckerberg comes to terms with his latest public-relations disaster, he has made some interesting admissions. One is that the Facebook CEO feels “fundamentally uncomfortable sitting here in California in an office making content policy decisions for people around the world,” as he told Recode. This sentiment echoes his manifesto on the future of Facebook from earlier this year, in which he called for “a system of more local governance,” for the same reason: He can’t figure out by himself how to set standards of behavior for Facebook’s more than 2 billion monthly active users. Continue Reading →
Through a proxy proposal, we asked the Twitter board to study broad-based ownership, such as cooperatives, for lessons to be learned on how to make Twitter both more productive and more democratic.
The proposal won enough votes to be brought back next year. In the meantime, we continue building a campaign and studying broad-based ownership models ourselves. With that backdrop, I was delighted to see commentary in Fortune by Joseph Blasi and Douglas Kruse entitled, Why Don’t Twitter’s Employees and Customers Buy the Company? “Consider why it might actually work,” they argued. Continue Reading →
According to Susan Neiman, the most important distinction in the world is the difference between what is and what ought to be. Recognizing that distinction is central to the process of growing up. (Why Grow Up?: Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age)
You need not be Peter Pan to feel uneasy about the prospect of becoming adult. Indeed, it’s easy to argue that Peter Pan, most drastically imitated by Michael Jackson, is an emblem of our times. Being grown-up is widely considered to be a matter of renouncing your hopes and dreams, accepting the limits of the reality you are given, and resigning yourself to a life that will be less adventurous, worthwhile and significant than you supposed when you began it.
Exit to Democratic Ownership; here is a preview of my presentation to the annual meeting of Twitter shareholders, to be held on May 22, 2017, at 1355 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94103. The meeting starts at 10 AM. Bring photo ID.
I am James McRitchie, speaking in favor of proposal #4, Exit to Democratic Ownership, co-filed with Steffen Sauerteig of Germany on behalf of thousands of users around the world as a part of BuyTwitter.org and #WeAreTwitter. Shareholders or members of the press interested in contacting me after this meeting, can email [email protected]
We are part of a world-wide movement to save Twitter from losing sight of its mission and being turned into another democratic-free zone.
Twitter’s stated mission is
To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.
That mission is very connected to democracy. Twitter is spreading First Amendment rights around the world. Access to information and the exercise of free speech are key to government and an Internet “by and for the people.” Continue Reading →
The following is a coalition letter on Twitter, Co-ops and Democracy — specifically on our proxy proposal #4 Exit to Democratic Ownership. Take Action: vote before midnight Sunday (San Francisco time) by phone or electronic proxy OR vote on Monday at the Twitter annual meeting in San Francisco.
This is part of the #WeAreTwitter movement, well documented at BuyTwitter.org. I’m pasting the letter below and related links below that. Thanks to all who signed our letter. If the campaign continues at the annual meeting in 2018, I’m sure signatories will at least double.
Twitter Proxy Voting Guide by CorpGov.net. Twitter, Inc. operates as a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. The company offers various products and services, including Twitter that allows users to create, distribute, and discover content; and Periscope, a mobile application that enables user to broadcast and watch video live with others. Twitter is one of the stocks in my portfolio. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of one fund families when I checked and voted. Their annual meeting is coming up on May 22, 2017. I will be in attendance, presenting our proposal to study cooperatives, so stop by and say hello.
Of course I voted FOR our proposal entitled Exit to Democratic Ownership, filed in conjunction with BuyTwitter.org. Add to the collective intelligence by tweeting #WeAreTwitter. Follow @BuyThisPlatform. See how and why I voted this and other items below. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 43% of the time. View Proxy Statement via SEC’s EDGAR system (look for DEF 14A). Continue Reading →
On or before May 22, shareowners of Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) have a chance to vote FOR proposal #4, requesting a report on converting the ownership structure of Twitter to a cooperative or other more democratic form of governance.
Twitter has been critical to those involved in the struggle for democracy but could be even more effective in bringing us all together as a more cooperatively owned and governed company.
We want to save Twitter as a vital utility for news, media, and social movements worldwide.
An investment in Twitter on November 4, 2013 has earned -56%, while the same investment in the Nasdaq has earned +56%. With Twitter’s stock price declining, we believe Twitter can sell at least a portion of itself to its users and/or employees and could create a more exciting company with broad-based ownership and accountability. Continue Reading →
Twitter has been an important tool to promote democracy – think #ArabSpring, #BackLivesMatter, #OccupyWallStreet, #WomenOnBoards, etc. Now, through #BuyTwitter @ BuyThisPlatform, Twitter is being called on to explore its own form of corporate governance – how the company itself can be more democratic and inclusive. The results could have implications for the future of capitalism.
Take Action: On May 22 shareholders (owning as of March 30) will decide if Twitter should study and report on the feasibility of “selling the platform to its users via a cooperative or similar structure with broad-based ownership and accountability mechanisms.” Voting by proxy on the proposal has already begun. As one of the authors, I hope you will consider voting “For” our Proposal #4. Continue Reading →
In an e-mail response to an inquiry from Ron Freund, shareholder and Corporate Responsibility Director for the Social Equity Group, a leading Bay area socially responsible money management firm, Twitte (NYSE:TWTR) announced it has posted political contributions on its website and will not contribute to Super PACs. Continue Reading →
Unfortunately, I got sick in New York, so missed the entire second day of ICGN 2013. Several weeks later, I am still recovering and am way behind in my other work, so any real comments I have on the conference will be long delayed. In the meantime, here are a few selected tweets.
They aren’t in order. Some may be retweets. Nothing guaranteed here re authenticity or links that work but I found them interesting and hope you will as well. I’ve edited out some duplicates but some may remain. It was a great program. Continue Reading →
I’ve received praise before: CII said my petition to the SEC on proxy access “re-energized” the debate on that subject, Lexis-Nexis subscribers listed my site among the top 25 business blogs and the NACD put me on a list of “people to watch.”
However, never have I felt so honored as when I heard Bob Monks publicly list my website (corpgov.net) and my twitter account (corpgovnet) among resources worth following. If I were an actor, it would be like getting acknowledgement from Daniel Day-Lewis and Meryl Streep! And to top it off, to be in such company as those other resources Bob mentions! Wow! 2013 is starting out rather nicely. I’d better ask my wife to give me a smack, so my head doesn’t get too big. Continue Reading →
Winnie Yu recommends directors join LinkedIn. Patricia Lenkov, president of Agility Executive Search, advises joining a LinkedIn group that interests you. A search for “corporate governance” turned up 186 groups when the article was written. Last I checked it was 240.
Want the latest corporate governance news on Twitter? Lucy P. Marcus, CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting and a board director herself (@lucymarcus), recommends following:
- Douglas K. Chia: @dougchia
- Douglas Park: @DougYPark
- Eric Jackson: @ericjackson
- Fay Feeney: @fayfeeney
- Francine McKenna: @retheauditors
- Frank Aquila: @faquila
- Heidi N. Moore: @moorehn
- Jayne Juvan: @JayneJuvan
- James McRitchie: @corpgovnet
- John Gillespie: @CorporateBoards
- Nell Minow: @nminow
Social Media Networking: Quick Tips for Busy Directors – First Quarter 2011 – Boardmember.com. I’m delighted to be in the company of such fine tweeters. Social Media has great potential to help us all learn from each other.
Bill Baue and Marcy Murninghan authored working paper several months ago that Continue Reading →
Estelle Métayer of Competia has come up with the ranking below of “who is the most influential corporate governance tweeter in 2011” based on her Twitter list, those of her colleagues and their Klout scores.
#1 Rosabeth Kanter, rosabethkanter, Klout score 58
#2 Lucy Marcus, lucymarcus, Klout score 57
#3 Matt Kelly, complianceweek, Klout score 53
#4 Norman Marks, normanmarks, Klout score 49
#5 Estelle Metayer, competia, Klout score 48
#6 Fay Feeney, fayfeeney, Klout score 48
#7 Debra Beck, Npmaven, Klout score 45
#8 Frank Aquila, faquila, Klout score 44
#9 Nell Minow, nminow, Klout score 44
#10 Alex Todd, Trustenabler, Klout score 44
To see the whole list of 25, go to Competia. If you’re not following them now, you might want to expand your horizons. Corporate governance is such a broad field. If Ms. Métayer repeats the exercise, I would suggest she look at several days of posts to Twitter that include #corpgov.
Know a rising star on the list or not? The Millstein Center is now accepting nominations for its fourth annual global “Rising Stars of Corporate Governance.” This award recognizes people who, while young and possibly new to the field of corporate governance, are making their mark as outstanding analysts, experts, activists or managers. They may be at any of the many bodies that comprise the global world of corporate governance: corporations, academic bodies, institutional investors, auditors, advisory firms, rating agencies, proxy services, professional associations, and others. Click here to nominate a Rising Star by March 31, 2011.