NYC Pension Fund Demands Zuckerberg Relinquish Chairman Role: "We Need Independent Oversight"

It has been more than three weeks since the New York Times and the Guardian-owned Observer published their stories about data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica's surreptitious use of data from more than 50 million Facebook users during its work for President Trump's campaign.

And, as CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg continues his robotic media appearances and seemingly forced apologies ahead of back-to-back Congressional testimony later this month, some of the company's largest investors are agitating for changes to be made not just to senior management, but to the board of directors that oversees Facebook.

Overnight, we pointed out that the European Commission  is considering new regulations to stop social media companies from spreading "fake news", something that Facebook has become a pariah for since the election, much to its leadership's chagrin.

Then, adding insult to injury, on Monday afternoon New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer added his voice to the chorus of wary investors who are demanding changes be made to stop what one CNBC guest described as "the most profitable company of its size in the history of capitalism" from succumbing to regulatory crackdowns and user flight. 

Though New York City's pension fund - which has about $1 billion invested in Facebook stock - doesn't have the clout to unilaterally push for change, Stringer said he's pushing for a shakeup on the company's board of directors. Specifically, Stringer wants Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to relinquish his role as chairman, and hand the position over to an "independent" advisor.

"I think this is a wake-up call. This is a company that lost $50 billion after this scandal broke that's not an insignificant amount of money even for Mark Zuckerberg - the value of the company has gone down and my job is to represent the firefighters, teachers, police officers, the people for whom we invest on their behalf. We think there needs to be more independent board oversight I think there needs to be an independent chairman of the board. I think we need more independent directors...and more directors who have experience in terms of data and ethics and all the things that these merging huge companies need in light of what happened.

Considering that Facebook is the eighth-largest company in the world and the self-styled guardian of the personal data belonging to 2 billion users, Stringer says it hasn't comported itself in a way that makes people feel good... Though he quickly clarified that his fund has no intention of pulling out from Facebook stock, lest he accidentally trigger another vicious selloff.

Here is the NYC Comptroller explaining why he is calling for board changes at Facebook from CNBC.

"Clearly people's data is being used without individuals' permission and that's going to hurt the brand," Stringer said. "I understand this is a slow slog through this process but I am committed, as I have been in the past, to holding companies we invest in to the highest ethical standard. We have no intention of pulling out, but because we are investors we do have a right to ask these questions we want to look a regulator risk, revenue risk, the brand and also there's a real discussion that should happen around our Democracy and elections."

Stringer closed out the interview by speculating that he wouldn't be the last major Facebook shareholder to raise these issues.

"When you start looking at what's happening throughout the world...everybody who is a fiduciary of a pension fund that invests in Facebook has the absolute right to ask questions, to prod the board and to seek fundamental changes that will grow the company. We're not trying to harm Facebook, we're trying to make it a stronger company."

However, judging by the contents of an interview published on Monday by Vox, Zuckerberg apparently has no intention of making any changes at the upper echelons of the company. In his mind, it seems, the problems raised by the Cambridge Analytica scandal have already been fixed.

Comments

house biscuit Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:45 Permalink

Independent financial oversight of a major corporation; dream on sweet prince

CEOs of major firms get there for a reason; & that is sucking at the teat of true power

Adolph.H. Four Star Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:23 Permalink

A pension fund's first responsibility is to responsibly invest their capital to guarantee continuous returns to its subscribers. 

Not gamble. 

Why the fuck are these pension funds gambling away on dirt like farcebook and the other intelligence agencies related cool internet companies facades that will go bust one way or another? 

Or is it because it's a Jewish mafia connection to legally steal the money of the hard working goys? 

In reply to by Four Star

you_are_cleared_hot Adolph.H. Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:49 Permalink

Wow, so we're at the point where a municipal pension manager is calling for change to a compay's corporate board?? granted, I do think this guy has a case here (Fraud), but let's be real here. We all know the buyer assumes ALL risk - always has.

 

Note to Municipal Pension Manager: Your main job is to do your analysis and MANAGAE RISK!!, not pick NCAA bracket-style on who's mascot looks the coolest.  This is ALL on you for placing that stupid bet. Looks like we'll see this guy on the window ledge in a few weeks. 

In reply to by Adolph.H.

Endgame Napoleon TeethVillage88s Tue, 04/03/2018 - 11:16 Permalink

Back when people other than public employees—married to high corporate earners in many cases due to the crony-parent job network—were not the only ones with secure, full-time and decent-paying jobs, many employees in private-sector jobs, too, had defined-benefit pensions, which were non-speculative pension funds that did not rely so much on the ups and downs of the stock market.

We can’t have a topsy-turvy, true-free-market stock market when the pensions of dual-earner parents are on the line. The public secondary school teachers are mostly moms, as two former superintendents of schools explained to me, who are hired so often “because teaching is a good second income, and a mom can be home with her kids in the summer.” 

Public secondary school teachers are often selected to accommodate their personal lives, not due to passion for the subjects they teach. It sounds like companies are now created to support the needs of pension funds and other things that have nothing to do with the product they produce, just like public secondary school teaching has little to do with the subjects taught and everything to do with social engineering and supporting so-called “working families.” 

I guess they could replace Zuck with people who know how to protect sensitive data since that is their product, like the Equifax people or people in credit processing and insurance back offices, in general. I have worked in multiple financial services back offices, where much more sensitive data than anything FB is pulling in metadata is handled by mom-dominated staffs. 

Employees in the many “voted best for moms” office jobs are much more obsessed with the latest Halloween dress-up day at work, not to mention their frequent and excused absenteeism (!for kids, for kids!) that is overlooked by equally absentee crony-momma managers, than they are with handling all of that sensitive data with proper diligence. 

There is a lot of accommodation of the mommas’ schedules, with moms flying out the door hours early every day and leaving for weeks of travel soccer beyond PTO and pregnancy leaves. Unentered data is left scattered on desks, and there is a lot of accommodation of mommas in terms of work-at-home opportunities, regardless of who lives with them...........

Whether it is a high-wage or a low-wage job, and regardless of unearned income streams from spouses or government for womb productivity, moms are said to “need the jobs.” And much is overlooked due to that fact, including laxness in sensitive data handling.

Mommas work cheaply due to their spousal income, child-support checks that cover their rent or layers of monthly welfare, covering their rent and groceries in the case of the single moms, in addition to refundable EITC child tax credits up to $6,431 that equal 3 or 4 months of full-time wages in these [truly] data-sensitive office jobs. 

 

 

In reply to by TeethVillage88s

Last Man Standing Gaius Frakkin'… Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:11 Permalink

Well his marrying the Communist spy wasn't very bright, was it. Zuckerberg didn't realize that once he was rich he could get almost any woman in the world, so he jumped on the first thing that offered him something he could never get on his own before without paying. He caves to every demand China, his "wife's" master and runner, demand of him. I wonder if Zuckerberg realizes that he is just her current assignment? China won't allow him to give up his role, they have access to so much more while his is running the company than if he were to give up control. They can add all of the fake news they want and get access to many other computers and companies through Facebook and backdoors in their ads,news and click bait. Zuckerberg is one of China's best assets in the United States, they will not easily give him up. He will fight to keep control because his controllers want him to.

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

quadraspleen house biscuit Tue, 04/03/2018 - 11:03 Permalink

no, silly, by "independent" he means "somebody who'll do what we say" not the clown who's there now, who can't even ttie his own shoelaces

 

I'm absolutely no Zuck fan, but careful what we all wish for with this purge of "evil" social networking providers. Any laws they enact off the back of all of this will not touch them, but they'll ream our buttholes and our ability to communicate securely and privately

In reply to by house biscuit

el buitre house biscuit Tue, 04/03/2018 - 12:26 Permalink

The CIA's tee shirt wearing millennial poster boy appears to have a problem, Houston.  Time for a new limited hangout.  So much for Zuck (Fuckface) in 2020.  The question is, how can the social media keep their perception management in control of the human race and collect data for our individual multi GB files on the quantum computers in Bluffdale while maintaining an innocuous, wholesome appearance.  As the late, and dearly missed satanist Zbignew B wrote, "We are losing the information war."  Of course Google is doing the lion's share of the satanist agenda heavy lifting.  Wonder why Schmidt resigned as CEO?  There is a story there for sure.  Perhaps caught eating a baby on video.

In reply to by house biscuit

JoeTurner Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:47 Permalink

Does this Stringer putz not understand that Faceborgs entire business model is predicated on selling private user data and that selling advertising is just a smoke screen ?

 

How did this incompetent moron allow the NYC pension fund to acquire $1B of this turd ?

teharr Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:47 Permalink

We think there needs to be more independent board oversight I think there needs to be an independent chairman of the board.

Like who?  Kissinger?  Comey?

Nesbiteme Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:49 Permalink

News flash for Scott Stringer: "If you don't like the way the facebooks is run sell the stock in your shorts you fat clown. That is the way FREE MARKETS that price things efficiently are supposed to work"

Thautikus Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:53 Permalink

"Though New York City's pension fund - which has about $1 billion invested in Facebook stock"

Let's see, the Fund is being monkey hammered for 'investing' in a stock that produces nothing except Deep State propaganda and the basis for operations is generating fake click bait and fake users.

 

Yeah, I'd demand *uckerberg step down.

shimmy Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:54 Permalink

And all because a company was allegedly helping the pumpkin campaign. Not a peep from these clowns when it was farcebook helping killary and dumbocrats in similar ways. Pretty funny to me.

 

small axe Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:00 Permalink

They want to regulate FB into compliance with the Democrat agenda and establish an effective cover for continued social engineering and advancement of the surveillance state.

 

itstippy sowhat1929 Tue, 04/03/2018 - 11:45 Permalink

It's Zuch's damn company and he'll only step down if he feels like it.  The Zuch is the face of Facebook just like Jobs was Apple and Musk is Tesla.  

As if New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has any say in the matter.  He's a career New York City politician, a swamp critter for the New York City Blue Team.  Former Borough President of Manhattan.  He doesn't know shit about finances and doesn't need to.  He knows New York City politics, dammit.  

The next thing you know Trump will be firing off late night Tweets in the matter, and Maxine Waters will weigh in, and the gals on The Voice will have a gab fest about it, and Fox News will have something emphatic to say.  Politicians didn't give a flying fuck about Zucherberg's use of personal information until it became a political hot potato.  Now they're all suddenly shocked and outraged and have loud opinions.  Where were they five years ago?

In reply to by sowhat1929

Last Man Standing Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

Taking advice or guidance from the NYC bureaucracy, the most corrupt in the United States, is sure to get you screwed in not only the long run but in the near term too.   

TeethVillage88s Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:11 Permalink

New York State Common Retirement Fund

The New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) is the third largest public pension plan in the nation with an audited value of $192.4 billion in assets held in trust for the retirement security of the more than one million members of the New York State and Local Retirement Systems (NYSLRS).

- 36.3% NYSCRF invested in Domestic Equities

http://thehill.com/opinion/finance/369652-new-york-city-is-putting-poli…

"New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that public pension funds for the city’s workers will soon divest $5 billion worth of equity in fossil fuel companies, citing concerns over global warming."

Reporting Pension Fund Misconduct - New York State Department ...
https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/pensionfunds.htm
The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) serves as the regulator of New York State's public pension systems, which collectively hold more than $350 billion in assets. As part of that legally mandated role, DFS is currently conducting a series of audits of the New York City Employee Retirement System, the ...

Mismanagement cost NY pension $3.8 billion over eight years ...
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-new-york-pensio...
Oct 17, 2016 ... The New York State Common Retirement Fund, which oversees $178 billion in assets and is the third-largest U.S. pension fund, paid $1 billion in fees to hedge fund managers over the last eight years, the regulator said in the report. The funds underperformed to the tune of $2.8 billion, said the regulator, ...

Massachusetts and NY probing MetLife over unpaid pensions
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-metlife-pension...
Dec 18, 2017 ... Regulators in Massachusetts and New York State said on Monday they are probing MetLife Inc (MET.N) after the insurer revealed last week it had failed to pay pensions to potentially thousands of people.

New York City Pension System Is Strained by Costs and Politics
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/04/nyregion/new-yo...
Aug 3, 2014 ... In November, he subpoenaed about 20 companies that help pension trustees decide how to invest the billions under their control. Regulators from his office have also been sifting through documents at New York's pension office, Diane d' Alessandro,

New York police and firefighters seek pension fund protection
https://www.ft.com/content/8a9bb4ba-9f3c-11e7-8cd4...
Sep 25, 2017 ... New York's police and firefighter pension funds have invested about $127m in a quantitative hedge fund that specialises in providing protection at times of

Byrond Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:11 Permalink

Putting everyone's retirement on an infrastructureless social media company was super incredibly dumb. And that's just the tip of the Berg that sinks this Titanic. Ha! Ha ha!

MusicIsYou Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:12 Permalink

Facebook is going down, there's nothing in data mining anyway, because most people are pretend people.  I mean that old TV show "The Pretender" didn't exist on a hunch, but because most people are pretenders.

MrBoompi Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:35 Permalink

The only option Stringer has, if he doesn't like the way Facebook is managed, is to sell their Facebook stock.  If they want to manage the corporation and its management structure, they better invest a lot more than $1 billion and start working closely with the CIA.  

G-R-U-N-T Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:35 Permalink

Everything is okay when things are good, but when there are dips the railing accusations roll like a steam roller over freshly laid asphalt. 

At this point public pensions, no matter what corrections they may take are screwed, we will see eventual torches and pitchforks. All that debt is unsecured and there will come a time where public servant pensioners will be shit out of luck, no matter how much hopium they may muster as those retired politicians making promises they new they couldn't keep for votes are tucked safely away in their mini ivory towers.