Facebook board members are preparing for their worst nightmare; a future without the social network’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Despite strong investor confidence in the platform’s leader, its board of directors want a plan in place if the 32-year-old entrepreneur ever does decide to call it quits.
To that end, they have filed a proxy statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission that details a contingency plan that would come in to effect upon Zuckerberg’s departure.
The filing states that if Zuckerberg were to leave the company his critical Class B shares, which grant the owner more voting power, would be converted into the less-powerful Class A shares. Meaning he would still keep his 14.8 per cent stake in the company, whilst seeing his 53.8% majority voting control reduced, reports CNET.
“If Mr. Zuckerberg were to depart, the impact on us could be highly negative, unless a high-quality replacement was hired,” claims the proxy statement. “These new terms thus ensure that we will not remain a founder-controlled company after we cease to be a founder-led company.”
Contingencies aside, Zuckerberg’s departure isn’t something the Facebook board wants, and neither does it seem likely to occur in the near future. This was made explicitly clear in April when the social network announced its stellar first quarter results. Alongside its blockbuster figures, Facebook revealed that it was creating a new class of non-voting stock, which would allow Zuckerberg to pour 99 per cent of his shares into his extra-curricular activities without losing his firm hold over the company.
“This proposal is designed to create a capital structure that will, among other things, allow us to remain focused on Mr. Zuckerberg’s long-term vision for our company and encourage Mr. Zuckerberg to remain in an active leadership role at Facebook,” the company said at the time.
By all accounts, there is no threat to Zuckerberg’s leadership for the foreseeable future. After all, can anyone even imagine Facebook without Zuck?