Facebook Governance Resembles Dictatorship, Gamco’s Haverty Says

Source: Bloomberg
Author: Alex Sherman
Coverage Type: reporting
Facebook (new HQ), 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA, United States

Facebook’s governance structure resembles a dictatorship, requiring investors to surrender rights to founder Mark Zuckerberg, according to Gamco Investors Inc.’s Larry Haverty.

Zuckerberg, chief executive officer, now controls 56.9 percent of voting power at Facebook, the company said in a filing to raise $5 billion in the largest Internet initial public offering on record. He also has the right to appoint his own successor, a “disquieting factor,” said Haverty, a portfolio manager at Gamco. Facebook still is a company that a growth-stock investor “absolutely” wants to own, Haverty said. “I don’t know whether dictatorship is the right word, but it more or less defies every vestige of shareholder democracy known to man,” Haverty said today on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene and Ken Prewitt. “I don’t think it’s how business should be run.”



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