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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Twitter shareholders vote in opposition to Silver Lake’s Durban persevering with in board position

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Silver Lake co-chief government Egon Durban tendered his resignation from the board of Twitter after the social media firm’s shareholders on Wednesday issued a uncommon rebuke at a tense investor assembly.

The vote in opposition to Durban’s re-election to the board got here after the 2 greatest shareholder advisers, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, earlier this month cited issues that he’s on too many others. Durban serves on seven public boards, up from six final 12 months, the ISS mentioned.

A Twitter spokesperson mentioned that Durban had provided his resignation to the board in accordance with its company governance guidelines. The spokesperson added that its company governance committee would think about whether or not to simply accept his resignation, given the vote shouldn’t be binding. Investors sometimes rubber stamp board member nominations. But BlackRock, Vanguard and different large asset managers are likely to vote in opposition to board members once they serve at greater than 4 firms.

Just 9 different firms within the S&P 500 have a number of administrators who serve on greater than 5 public firm boards, in keeping with an evaluation of securities filings by ISS Corporate Solutions. Silver Lake declined to remark.

Durban has been on Twitter’s board since March 2020, when Silver Lake invested $1bn within the firm to assist fund a $2bn share repurchase programme. His appointment was secured as a part of a co-operation settlement between Twitter and activist investor Elliott Management, which had on the time been agitating for then-chief government Jack Dorsey to be eliminated over issues over the corporate’s sluggish progress.

Wednesday’s shareholder assembly comes amid an ongoing drama over Twitter’s future, after Elon Musk agreed a $44bn cope with the board to purchase the corporate and take it personal. Musk labored carefully with Durban when making an attempt to rearrange a possible buyout of Tesla.

Musk, who desires to loosen content material moderation guidelines on the platform, mentioned earlier this month that the deal was “temporarily on hold” as he sought info on pretend accounts. Twitter executives have mentioned they intend to shut the transaction.

During the shareholder assembly on Wednesday, Twitter chief government Parag Agrawal declined to handle questions concerning the deal, however confronted a deluge of queries from traders on content material moderation points, misinformation and political bias.

Shareholders endorsed the $30mn pay bundle for Agrawal, who took over from Dorsey in November, regardless of each proxy advisers recommending in opposition to the plan over issues of a “misalignment between CEO pay and company performance”.

Musk’s identify was steadily invoked round free speech and content material moderation points through the assembly. One shareholder complained of “wokeness” inside Twitter, citing Musk and claiming the corporate’s variety insurance policies have been discriminatory in opposition to males and white folks, whereas one other lambasted Musk’s strategy to speech whereas proposing {that a} human rights and civil rights chief be part of as a director.

Shareholders voted in favour of a proposal put ahead by New York state’s pension fund requiring the corporate to publish an electoral spending report on any contributions to politicians or causes.

Shareholder proposals demanding firms publish extra details about political spending and lobbying have been a number of the most profitable in recent times. Nine lobbying or political spending proposals handed in 2021, up from six in 2020, in keeping with legislation agency Sullivan & Cromwell.

Separately on Wednesday, Twitter agreed to pay a $150mn fantastic over allegations from US regulators that it breached privateness guidelines by improperly utilizing customers’ cellphone numbers and e mail addresses.

In 2019, Twitter admitted that it had “inadvertently” used the non-public info supplied by greater than 140mn customers for “safety and security practices” to higher goal promoting between 2014 and 2019.

According to courtroom paperwork, this violated a 2011 order over earlier fees from the Federal Trade Commission that the corporate had put customers’ privateness in danger. 

The newest fantastic — along with new compliance measures levied on Twitter, together with limiting worker entry to customers’ private knowledge — “will help prevent further misleading tactics that threaten users’ privacy”, affiliate attorney-general Vanita Gupta mentioned. The proposed settlement have to be authorized by a federal decide.

Video: Elon Musk talks to the FT about Twitter, Tesla and Trump

Source: www.ft.com

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