The trend in recent years has been for California technology companies to enter the public markets giving their founders control of the votes, even if they owned far fewer shares. Facebook (FB) - Get Report Chairman, CEO, and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, until recent months, has been the visionary trailblazer most people point to when they defend these kinds of insider-controlled IPO structures.
During the company's five-plus-years history, Action Alerts Plus holding Facebook has created billions of dollars in shareholder equity at the same time that its structure protected the social media giant from the activist hedge funds who frequently push for tech-company M&A activity.
An insurgent manager would have no success seeking to install a dissident director slate at the company - even if a majority of outside institutional investors backed their thesis -- because 33-year-old Zuckerberg controls 59.7% of the vote. And the structure has been praised in Silicon Valley as one that allows for companies to accumulate capital in the public markets without worrying about a short-term insurgent manager pressing for a sale of the business.
However, there is a downside.
To read the rest of this story, please visit TheStreet's sister publication The Deal.