April 11, 2022
Guide for Investors Evaluates Recent Flood of Disclosures, Underscores Need for Oversight, Stronger Investor Protections at Meta
The SumOfUs report, Risky Business, an investor briefing on Meta, is available for free download.
CHICAGO – APRIL 6, 2022 - SumOfUs, the global member led advocacy organization, today released Risky Business, An Investor Briefing on Meta. This concise yet definitive report provides investors with a synthesized view of the wide range of issues that threaten Meta Platform’s (FB) valuation. Designed to help shareholders navigate the upcoming annual meeting session, the report combines an overview of the core challenges facing the company with suggested next steps for investors at a time when litigation, revenue vulnerabilities and regulatory proposals change the Meta investment landscape.
SumOfUs will be sending copies of the report to over 4,000 Meta Platforms institutional investors next week as well as providing copies to SOU members to share with their own pension and mutual fund advisors as they prepare to vote this May. A large slate of shareholder proposals have been filed for this year’s AGM representing the significant questions they are asking about the company’s management and the unprecedented loss of over $230 billion in value in February.
In response to the “almost daily” news of business missteps threatening earnings and additional harms to Meta users, Christina O’Connell, SumOfUs shareholder engagement advisor commented: “Investors often feel overwhelmed by the pace of these disclosures. Our report is designed to provide them with a manageable overview. Whether its harms to children and young adults, the flood of disinformation and hate speech on his platform, litigation from state attorneys generals, or growing distrust from advertisers as Meta's user base dwindles, recent whistleblower accounts portray CEO Mark Zuckerberg as unable or unwilling to effectively address the challenges in a manner that protects shareholders. Investors will want to cast an informed vote at this year’s AGM on the many shareholder proposals filed to address these concerns.”
SumOfUs members have co-filed two of those shareholder resolutions. The first calls for an independent Performance Review of the Audit and Risk Oversight Committee to ensure investors are being provided with accurate and actionable information and provide valuable guidance to the board and shareholders. The second requests an Assessment of Metaverse User Risk and Advisory Shareholder Vote to provide a third-party assessment of: potential psychological and civil and human rights harms of a metaverse. The report includes whether these harms can be mitigated or avoided, or whether there are unavoidable risks inherent in this new technology.
“SumOfUs members, many of whom are also Meta shareholders, are outraged by the harmful impacts Meta’s platforms already have,” noted O’Connell. “They are concerned by recent disclosures that make it clear Mr. Zuckerberg and his team are unable to responsibly manage their existing ‘universe.' It has them left wondering how he can be trusted to look out for their best interests in the metaverse as well."