Facebook has approved the creation of 5.7 billion new shares of Class C stock that will keep its CEO Mark Zuckerberg in control as long as he is associated with the firm. The decision, taken at its annual shareholders’ meeting on Monday, gives Zuckerberg power to give away his wealth without relinquishing control of the company he founded.
Zuckerberg proposed Facebook’s unusual share structure earlier this year to accommodate Zuckerberg’s plan to give away 99% of his wealth in his lifetime. Normally, it would be impossible for him to retain control.
Facebook also re-elected its Board of Directors, including investors Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel at its annual shareholders’ meeting.
During the question and answer session of the meeting, Facebook’s CEO said that he was planning on running the company “for a very long time,” which elicited applause. He had been asked whether he would remain connected with Facebook while pursuing charitable and philanthropic activities.
The move wasn’t really surprising, as Zuckerberg retains majority control of the company and had considerable influence on all the proposals. As a case in point, all of the shareholder-submitted proposals were rejected, including those asking Facebook to do reports on gender pay equity, giving shareholders more say in the company, and sustainability.