Tag Archives: Vote

Amazon's second headquarters clears key Virginia funding vote
March 17, 2019 12:06 am|Comments (0)

People move about in front of the rostrum before a news conference about the announcement that Crystal City has been selected as home to Amazon’s new headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A financial package worth an estimated $ 51 million for Amazon.com Inc’s second headquarters in northern Virginia was approved by the Arlington County Board on Saturday, helping the company clear a key hurdle amid protests.

Amazon in November picked National Landing, a site jointly owned by Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, just outside Washington, along with New York City for its so-called HQ2 or second headquarters.

The company has since scrapped its plans to build its headquarters in New York.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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Amazon's second headquarters clears key Virginia funding vote
March 17, 2019 12:06 am|Comments (0)

People move about in front of the rostrum before a news conference about the announcement that Crystal City has been selected as home to Amazon’s new headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A financial package worth an estimated $ 51 million for Amazon.com Inc’s second headquarters in northern Virginia was approved by the Arlington County Board on Saturday, helping the company clear a key hurdle amid protests.

Amazon in November picked National Landing, a site jointly owned by Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, just outside Washington, along with New York City for its so-called HQ2 or second headquarters.

The company has since scrapped its plans to build its headquarters in New York.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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Facebook director to start after annual meeting, avoid shareholder vote
May 22, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

BOSTON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc named a new director this month and timed his appointment to avoid a shareholder vote, raising concern among some investors who want to see more accountability from the social media company.

FILE PHOTO: Jan Koum, co-founder and CEO of WhatsApp speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The decision by Facebook’s board comes as the company is under scrutiny from regulators and shareholders about its internal controls and oversight after it failed to protect the data of some 87 million users that was shared with now-defunct political data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Jeffrey Zients’ appointment does not take effect until “immediately following the conclusion” of the company’s May 31 shareholder meeting, according to a securities filing on May 8, meaning he could be able to serve a year without facing shareholder approval.

“The optics of this are questionable,” said John Wilson, head of governance at Cornerstone Capital Group, whose clients have about 30,000 Facebook shares.

For one thing, Wilson said, some shareholders could be looking for the largest social media network to add a board member with more of a background on privacy issues and will not have the chance to register objections to Zients, president of holding company Cranemere Group.

Zients and Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chairman and chief executive, declined to comment via a Facebook spokeswoman. The spokeswoman, Nora Chan, said the board has authority to appoint directors between annual meetings.

“Since this appointment is effective after this year’s annual meeting, it is not on the ballot this year. It would be on the ballot at future annual meetings,” Chan said via e-mail.

Exactly when Zients should be voted in is something of an academic question since Facebook’s structure gives Zuckerberg a majority of its voting power.

Still Facebook has been at pains to address its issues in order to reassure investors. Its share price fell during the first three months of the year as details of its data-protection problems emerged. The shares have since recovered, but a number of funds that call themselves socially responsible are selling the stock, concerned Facebook has not fully addressed its issues.

Proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services on May 16 recommended investors withhold support from five of eight directors on the company’s ballot including Zuckerberg, and vote in favor of shareholder proposals aimed at improving its response to problems like election interference and harassment.

In recommending that investors withhold support from Zuckerberg, ISS cited the lack of a formal board-nominating committee, a concern it has raised in past years.

ISS Special Counsel Patrick McGurn said the lack of a vote on Zients is “suboptimal.”

“Best governance practice generally dictates that a board should provide shareholders with a timely opportunity, typically at the next scheduled meeting, to elect a director who is appointed by the existing board members to fill a vacancy,” he said.

However, McGurn said the timing may not have been entirely in Facebook’s control, given that departing director Jan Koum did not immediately leave the company’s board at the same time he quit as a company executive.

James McRitchie, a private investor who filed one of two pending shareholder resolutions calling on Facebook to revamp its voting rules, said the lack of a vote on Zients will not look good at a time when the company needs to seem responsive and not be seen as “cutting out shareholders.”

Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Frances Kerry

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New York Attorney General Wants Net Neutrality Vote to Be Delayed
December 5, 2017 12:26 am|Comments (0)

New York’s attorney general urged the Federal Communications Commission to delay a vote rolling back net neutrality rules because of the large number of fake comments submitted to the agency on the issue.

The FCC is expected to vote on Feb. 14 on Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to scrap the 2015 landmark net neutrality rules, moving to give broadband service providers sweeping power over what content consumers can access. Pai is a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been investigating allegations that more than half of the 21.7 million public comments submitted to the FCC about net neutrality used temporary or duplicate email addresses and appeared to include false or misleading information.

Schneiderman said the FCC agreed on Monday to assist in the probe. “We’re going to hold them to that – and, in the meantime, it’s vital that the FCC delay the vote until we know what happened,” said Schneiderman.

The 2015 rules changed the designation of internet service providers, or ISPs, usually big cable and telephone companies, so they were banned from blocking or throttling (slowing) legal content or from seeking payments to speed delivery of certain content, called “paid prioritization.”

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who opposes the net neutrality rollback, agreed that the vote should be delayed.

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“The integrity of the public record matters. The FCC needs to get to the bottom of this mess. No vote should take place until a responsible investigation is complete,” she said.

Under Pai’s proposal, the Obama-era rules would be reversed and ISPs would only have to disclose blocking or throttling.

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