‘Bezos needs a boss’ protest planned for Amazon shareholder meeting

By Dan Wilson May 30, 2018 - 6:47 am

There will be a protest at the Amazon shareholder meeting today in Seattle and the key target will be CEO and Chair Jeff Bezos. The most eye-catching aspect of the picket will be a plane flying across the Seattle skyline trailing a banner that reads: ‘Bezos needs a boss.’

Activists will rally outside Amazon’s annual general meeting of shareholders in Seattle urging shareholders to support a shareholder proposal calling on the company to separate the role of CEO and chair of the board, creating an independent board chair. SEIU, SumOfUs, 350 Seattle, Socialist Alternative and Seattle community members will rally against the negative impacts that Amazon has had on their communities and lives and call for Amazon shareholders to make sure Jeff Bezos has accountability to the board.

As both CEO and Board Chair of Amazon, his leadership of the company has hurt our communities — from Amazon profiting from the pain of victims of gun violence and racist fearmongering by streaming NRATV and advertising on Breitbart, to paying employees so little that they literally can’t put food on the table, to fighting taxes that pay for affordable housing and houselessness programs, to the race-to-the-bottom competition for HQ2, to spewing pollution that harms our health and damages our climate. The lesson is simple: Jeff Bezos shouldn’t be his own boss and it is up to shareholders to help make sure that there is accountability at Amazon.
– Salma Mirza, Campaigns Director at SumOfUs

It’s unknown how big the protest will be and doubtless it won’t have much of an impact. It’s not unusual in the USA to have the same person serve as CEO and chairman. And, even if the roles were split, its not entirely certain how that would address the complaints the organisers are levelling at Amazon and Bezos.

But it is perhaps an interesting example of how ire towards an ever dominant and ubiquitous Amazon is having an impact on commerce and communities in the US, and indeed the around the world. And the criticisms can only increase as the company becomes ever more huge.

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