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Amazon shareholders call for Jeff Bezos to step aside as board chair

By Dan Wilson May 7, 2018 - 6:59 pm

A group representing the interests of Amazon shareholders has called on Jeff Bezos to step aside as chair of the Amazon board calling the holding of the same roles a “conflict of interest”. It’s not clear exactly how many shareholders are represented in this action but it seems unlikely to succeed. Having a CEO serve as chair of a board and chief executive officer is not an unusual practice in USA companies.

Amazon shareholders, represented by US consumer group SumOfUs have submitted a shareholder resolution calling on the company to separate the role of CEO and chair of the board and appoint an independent board chair. Bezos is also, needless to say, the single biggest shareholder in Amazon and the world’s richest man.

You can read the full text of the proposal, which will be heard at the Amazon annual general meeting later this month, here.

There is a clear conflict of interest when a corporation’s board of directors, which is responsible for overseeing the CEO and representing shareholders, is chaired by that same CEO. An independent board chair is a necessary first step to put Amazon’s board on the path to effective representation of the interests of all shareholders.

Independent Board leadership would be particularly useful at Amazon in providing more robust oversight regarding the company’s association with right-wing organizations including NRATV and Breitbart. In addition, Amazon has faced increased criticism for workforce exploitation, tax avoidance, and monopolistic practices. Independent Board leadership would result in improved policies and practices to mitigate these risks.
– Lisa Lindsley, Capital Markets Advisor for SumOfUs

Earlier this year, more than 37,000 SumOfUs members called on Amazon to stop streaming NRA TV. The petition came as the NRA increased its campaign of the “right” to own military-grade assault rifles after calls from Parkland high school shooting survivors to institute common-sense gun safety reforms.

  • NVRCANTELL
    5 months ago

    Just wanted to let you know that Americans, for the most part, don’t have access to “military-grade assault” rifles. The AR15 isn’t a military grade assault rifle. If it was, they would be used by the military. They are not. They just look scary to the snowflakes.

  • 5 months ago

    “for the most part”

  • Lee Pearce
    5 months ago

    Oohhhh, semantics.

    Does a bullet from a military-grade assault rifle hurt more or less than a bullet from an ordinary assault rifle?

    To be fair, a hand gun would look scary to snowflakes and non snowflakes alike, let alone an assault rifle.

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