Posted March 26, 2008 2:19 am by with 4 comments

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I’m not sure if Google has seen such an attempt before, but some shareholders plan to use the 2008 annual meeting as an opportunity to force policy changes at the company.

According to Reuters, two different shareholder groups will submit their proposals.

[The first] proposal will be raised by the New York City comptroller’s office, which oversees the New York City Employees Retirement System as well as retirement funds for city teachers, police and firefighters, Google said in its proxy filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

A second proposal put forward by Harrington Investments requests that the company create a board committee on human rights to review the implications of its policies on a worldwide basis.

The Google board has issued a recommendation that investors vote against both of these proposals. Typically, shareholders follow the wishes of a company’s board–unless the board is pretty much hated by its shareholders–so don’t expect Google to have egg on its face come May 8th. Still, it’s interesting to see Google face this type of shareholder pressure.

Anyone know if this has happened at Google before?

  • “Force” changes? Hmmm – this is how corporate policy can be changed in a rational way. The shareholders own the company, not the board!

    Athough Google could make a case that the censorship changes could hurt business, the recommendation to avoid a human rights committee is, in a word, unconscionable.

  • This will be interesting to watch pan out. I’m sure nothing will happen, but I enjoy watching Google in the hot seat.

  • Looks like shareholders don’t like stocks falling.

  • nobody wants their stocks falling 🙂