Shareholders are summoned at intervals usually once a year to vote on the board of directors and any policy changes. These votes are in almost all cases pre-ordained in their outcomes.
Shareholders under American law are almost powerless. Only large shareholders can build substantial building blocks of votes to challenge a current board. So, most shareholders are simply silent or agreeable.
What the vast majority of shareholders said was, “There was nothing that could be done, the board of directors is too entrenched to challenge and they have been almost to a man selected by the CEO. A no vote would be a waste of my time and could make enemies down the road.”
I don’t like this kind of misleading nonsense. “All is well, the money is well earned, compensation follows the free market, etc.”
What the shareholders would do if actually given the power they are supposed to have under the laws of property is unknown but I find it unlikely they would like to see their dividends diminished to reward CEO’s regardless of their performance and far in excess of CEO salaries in other nations.
- NewsCorp shareholders revolt against Murdoch family (boingboing.net)
- Third of News shareholders against Murdoch’s sons (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Exxon shareholders approve yearly vote on pay (marketwatch.com)
- News Corp. directors re-elected to board (marketwatch.com)
- More Shareholders Planning to Vote No on Pay in 2012 (bjconquest.com)
- 8 CEOs Who are Overpaid Based on Performance, via MSNBC (thehalshow.wordpress.com)