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Amazon Stockholder Meeting Goes Bananas Thumbnail

Amazon Stockholder Meeting Goes Bananas

(5/23/17) The Amazon.com annual stockholders meeting was this morning @ 9:00am.

I was there to present a shareholder proposal – and a 1st-time vote took place on ending the voting ‘double standard against stockholders’.

My presentation closed with:

The simple-majority standard proposed by Item 8 provides shareholders with better information about vote outcomes, allows more accurate communication between stockholders and the Board; and eliminates the second-class treatment of shareholder items relative to management’s director election.

Therefore:  Ask Amazon to end its double standard against stockholders – vote FOR item #8.  Thank you.

An electronic copy of the full presentation and related materials is available at: http://bit.ly/Amazon-Press-Packet-2017

The company is paranoid about its stockholders and had a mic runner grip the microphone with two hands as each shareholder spoke – which was a big nuisance and impediment to communication.  The company is clearly more obsessive about an optimal customer experience than they are about providing an optimal shareholder one.

Given the vast number of shares owned by Mr. Bezos and others tied to the company it can be quite a challenge to get a good vote at Amazon, but under rules established by the SEC our proposal received double the support needed to automatically qualify for re-submission in 2018.

Todd Bishop the co-founder of GeekWire, came over to chat afterward, and described us and the company’s antics around controlling the microphone at all costs in his article:

As Amazon recaps a record year, shareholders meeting goes bananas

I spoke with former Seattle City Councilmember Jan Drago – who can be credited with the prod that launched Amazon’s charitable initiatives – including its significant support for Mary’s Place, and spoke with the two sets of union people protesting outside.

Sat in front of the Rev. Jessie Jackson, whom I met at the Amazon meeting 2 years ago.  We chatted a bit and he introduced me to the Rev Tyrone McGowan, who coordinates the Money Matters Program of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.  They were there to highlight and to seek help in closing the racial-gender gap in tech (see photo).

Rev. Jackson emphasized that Amazon needs to develop a concrete mechanism and plan for improvement. Otherwise, the current default ‘plan’ is to lock minorities up in private prisons for profit. He observed:

We have globalized capital and technology, but we have not globalized human rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, [or] environmental security.

As you [Amazon] project adding on thousands of workers . . . it would behoove you to form a commission on gender equality and racial justice. Unless you do it you’ll look somewhat like Mt. Rainier: black at the bottom and white at the top.

Say ‘Amen’ somebody…

The audience echoed ‘Amen’!

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