Alphabet Shareholders' Call For More Voting Rights Voted Down

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Alphabet's top management and major investors voted down the recent proposal of minority stockholders that called for giving more voting rights to – minority stockholders. In an expected turn of events, the Mountain View, California-based tech giant gave a clear signal that the company will continue operating in a relatively centralized manner, with its founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page continuing to enjoy the majority of voting rights that allows them to draft the direction of the company without any additional help from other stockholders. The ownership structure of Alphabet is what allows Brin and Page to maintain a tight grasp over the firm that they founded even 13 years after Google's initial public offering (IPO) that technically saw the company sold to the public. Page and Brin hold the majority of Google's Class B supervoting shares, accounting for approximately 393 million votes, more than half of what is currently available, despite the fact that they "only" own 39.3 million shares, i.e. one-tenth of that figure.

The aforementioned proposal over voting rights had 191.7 million votes for and 472.6 million votes against and would have been accepted if Page and Brin's supervoting shares were just regular stock. The latest turn of events isn't particularly surprising in light of the fact that shareholder proposals are traditionally voted down at most companies regardless of whether they're plausible suggestions or far-fetched ideas like the recent call for Twitter to become a user-owned cooperative. While this particular proposal would have passed if Alphabet's Class B shares worth ten votes each were just regular Class A stock, the majority of other suggestions made by the company's shareholders in recent years would have still been rejected in that scenario, as evidenced by the firm's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Today, Alphabet is more stable than it has ever been and is mostly managing to operate without major scandals that sometimes trouble companies of its size, though the firm was recently alleged to have a gender pay gap in its ranks in a lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that's still in court.

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