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赌博默示录下载: 微软避开麻烦用了两招,Facebook值得一试

赌博网 www.fut1.com.cn Jonas Kron 2018年06月19日

尽管发表了多个信誓旦旦的声明,但Facebook并未改变“公司治理水平低”的状况。

20年前,比尔·盖茨坐在美国国会的“审讯椅”上就微软(Microsoft)对社会的影响及其反竞争措施回答着尖锐而愤怒的质问。对微软来说,随之而来的是一个痛苦、令人分神而又代价高昂的10年,这期间它一直在应付美国和欧洲反垄断官司。但此后,微软的公司治理呈现出了两大特点:一是单独任命了董事长,二是通过监管和公共政策委员会来协助董事会监控与公共政策和企业社会责任有关的风险。在Facebook的CEO兼董事长马克·扎克伯格、董事会和股东放眼未来之际,他们可以好好学习一下微软的做法。

近几个月,Facebook持续投入资金和人力,通过多项措施来解决公司面临的一连串问题。这固然很好,但尽管发表了多个信誓旦旦的声明,却并未改变Facebook“公司治理水平低”这一核心的基础性结构缺陷。

在公司治理领域,单独任命董事长是已经得到认可的最佳措施,而且有确凿证据表明在困难环境下,单独任命的董事长对公司有益。就像机构投资者理事会(Council of Institutional Investors)指出的那样:

“单独任命的董事长有助于董事会履行其主要职责,即代表股东监督公司管理层。兼任董事长的CEO会对董事会及其日常工作产生巨大影响,从而削弱董事会对管理层的监督作用。分别任命董事长和CEO可以减少这样的冲突,而且单独任命董事长是将CEO和董事会其他成员的权力划分开来的最清晰方式?!?

去年,Facebook投资者第一次有机会就是否分别设立CEO和董事长的问题进行投票。当时的股东建议书认为,单独任命董事长对Facebook有益,原因是这家公司面临着“越来越多的批评,内容涉及外界认为Facebook在传播误导性新闻方面有不可推卸的责任;审核制度、仇恨言论以及实施Facebook社区标准化指南和内容政策时被指前后矛盾;基于种族的定向广告推送以及呼吁人权方面的公开问责对Facebook行为方式的影响?!?

掌握近60%投票权的扎克伯格反对此项建议,这并不意外,但超过50%的外部股份对此表示支持,清楚地反映出独立股东的顾虑。虽然今年的审议内容不包括这项提案,但很多股东仍在为此奔走,其中包括纽约市审计长斯科特·斯特林格,他最近在一封信中呼吁分别设立CEO和董事长。

今年,Facebook股东有机会就第二项良好的公司治理措施投票。上个月,我所在的公司Trillium Asset Management代表The Park Foundation向股东大会提交了股东建议书,建议Facebook董事会设立风险委员会。这个想法源于微软的监管和公共政策委员会,它的基础是世界大型企业联合会(Conference Board)的理念,基本内容是鉴于Facebook对社会有如此深远的影响,而不断道歉又不断引发争议的死循环表明扎克伯格无法或不愿就此采取行动,因此Facebook需要对治理结构进行一定调整。应该向董事会的一个委员会授予必要的权力和资源,以便其监督管理层的行为怎样引发、面对并降低这些社会风险。

重要的是,我们的建议获得了非常好的反馈。不包括内部投票权,该建议得到了45%的赞成票。同时,就此项直截了当的治理建议以及扎克伯格和谢丽尔·桑德伯格得到的较少支持票而言,董事会看来打算花大量时间把真正的主要投资者争取回来。我们在5月31日看到的情况并不是一次信任投票。

微软已经在过去10年中表明,它可以是一家短期内非常成功的公司,也可以打造长期价值并成为良好的社会成员。我们相信其成功的部分基础一定和单独任命的董事长以及监管和公共政策委员会有关。这两个特点让微软有了跟实质性监督结合在一起的大局观。除了关注社会风险的董事们的智慧,这两项措施带来了有利的防控与平衡,从而使微软获得了成功。

简而言之,我们认为如果Facebook打算进行这两项调整,它就要走一段很长的路,从而为成功的未来打下基础,这不光是为了这家公司及其股东,也是为了Facebook的用户。(财富中文网)

乔纳斯·克朗在投资咨询公司Trillium Asset Management担任高级副总裁。

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

Twenty years ago, Bill Gates sat in a congressional hot seat responding to pointed and angry questions about his company’s impact on society and anti-competitive practices. For Microsoft, the following decade was a painful, distracting, and expensive era as the company fought anti-trust litigation in the U.S. and Europe. But when it emerged on the other side, it brought with it two key governance features: one, an independent board chairman, and two, a Regulatory and Public Policy Committee to assist the board of directors in overseeing risks that concern public policy and corporate social responsibility. As Facebook CEO and Chairman Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook board, and Facebook shareholders look to the future, they would do well to learn from these two lessons that Microsoft can teach.

Facebook has been spending the last few months plowing money and people into multiple efforts to address the litany of problems the company has been facing. Of course this is all well and good, but despite all the fanfare of its announcements, they do not change a fundamental structural flaw at the heart of the company: weak corporate governance.

It is well established in corporate governance circles that an independent chairman is best practice. And evidence strongly suggests that under challenging circumstances, an independent chairman can be beneficial. As the Council of Institutional Investors points out:

“Having an independent chair helps the board carry out its primary duty—to monitor the management of the company on behalf of its shareowners. A CEO who also serves as chair can exert excessive influence on the board and its agenda, weakening the board’s oversight of management. Separating the chair and CEO positions reduces this conflict, and an independent chair provides the clearest separation of power between the CEO and the rest of the board.”

Last year, for the first time, Facebook investors had the opportunity to vote on this question of whether the roles of CEO and chairman should be separated. At that time, the shareholder proposal noted that the company would benefit from an independent chairman as Facebook confronted “increasing criticism regarding its perceived role in the promotion of misleading news; censorship, hate speech and alleged inconsistencies in the application of Facebook’s community standards guidelines and content policies; targeting of ad views based on race; collaboration with law enforcement and other government agencies; and calls for public accountability regarding the human rights impacts of Facebook’s practices.”

Unsurprisingly, Zuckerberg, who controls almost 60% of the vote, opposed the proposal, but over 50% of the outsider shares supported it—a clear indication of independent shareholders’ concern. While this year the proposal is not on the ballot, the campaign continues from a number of shareholders, including New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who recently sent a letter calling on for CEO/chairman role to be split.

This year, shareholders had the opportunity to vote on the second good governance measure. My firm, Trillium Asset Management, on behalf of The Park Foundation, presented a shareholder proposal at the company’s annual shareholder meeting last month asking the company to establish a Risk Committee of the board. This idea is an adaptation of Microsoft’s Regulatory and Public Policy Committee and is based on an idea from The Conference Board, but the basic point is this: At a time when Facebook has such profound impacts on society, and Zuckerberg has demonstrated—through repeated cycles of apologies followed by fresh controversies—that he is unable or unwilling to address those impacts, the company needs some changes to its governance architecture. It is time to empower a board committee with the authority and resources necessary to oversee how management’s actions are creating, confronting, and mitigating these social risks.

Importantly, our proposal did very well. Excluding the insider votes, the proposal earned 45% approval. Furthermore, looking at the straight governance proposals, plus the relatively low votes for Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, it would appear that the board is going to have to spend significant time trying to win back the really big investors. What we saw on May 31 was not a vote of confidence.

Microsoft has shown over the past decade that it can be a very successful business in the short term, build long-term value, and be a good corporate citizen. We believe a fundamental part of that success has to do with having an independent chair and a Regulatory and Public Policy Committee. These features give it the big-picture view combined with meaningful oversight. They provide healthy checks and balances alongside the wisdom of a group of directors that looks at social risks, which allows the company to succeed.

In short, we believe that if Facebook were to make these two changes, it would go a long way toward putting in place the foundation for a successful future, not only for the company and its shareholders, but for Facebook’s users.

Jonas Kron is a senior vice president at Trillium Asset Management.

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