THURSDAY 8AM: Protest Outside Amazon Shareholder Meeting Declares: “Bezos Needs a Boss”

May 30, 2018

SumOfUs Presents Shareholder Proposal Requiring Independent Board Chair, Argues “Jeff Bezos Shouldn’t Be His Own Boss”

Plane Flies Over Shareholder Meeting with Banner Reading: “Bezos Needs a Boss”

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday, May 30th, activists will rally outside Amazon’s annual general meeting of shareholders in Seattle urging shareholders to support a shareholder proposal calling on the company to separate the role of CEO and chair of the board, creating an independent board chair.  Amazon’s current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeff Bezos also serves as Amazon’s Chair of the Board, and protesters argue that “Jeff Bezos shouldn't be his own boss.” Lisa Lindsley, Capital Markets Advisor for SumOfUs, will present the proposal to shareholders at the AGM.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 30th. 8:00am - 11:00am PT

WHO/WHAT: Members of the SEIU, SumOfUs, 350 Seattle, Socialist Alternative and Seattle community members will rally against the negative impacts that Amazon has had on their communities and lives and call for Amazon shareholders to make sure Jeff Bezos isn’t his own boss.

WHERE: SumOfUs members will meet at Evanston Plaza before marching to meet other activists at Amazon’s Fremont Studios location. 155 N. 35th Street. Seattle, Washington. 98103.

LOCAL CONTACT: Salma Mirza | 716-432-1576


Coinciding with the protest and shareholder meeting, SumOfUs has commissioned a plane to fly over Amazon’s annual general meeting with a banner reading:


WHEN: Wednesday, May 30th. 8:00am - 11:00am PT

WHERE: Fremont Studios. 155 N. 35th Street. Seattle, Washington. 98103.

An independent Board Chair has been found in some academic studies to improve the performance of public companies.  Separating the roles of Chair and CEO is the norm in Europe, and 51% of S&P 500 boards split the Chair and CEO roles. In an article in The Washington Post about Facebook’s corporate governance structure in 2017, SumOfUs argued that that an independent Chair of the Board would be better able to oversee the executives of the company, improve corporate governance and set a more accountable, pro-shareholder agenda. SumOfUs believes should also adopt these changes for a similar set of reasons.

“There is a clear conflict of interest when a corporation’s board of directors, which is responsible for overseeing the CEO and representing shareholders, is chaired by that same CEO,” explained Lisa Lindsley, Capital Markets Advisor for SumOfUs. “An independent board chair is a necessary first step to put Amazon’s board on the path to effective representation of the interests of all shareholders.”

“As both CEO and Board Chair of Amazon, his leadership of the company has hurt our communities—from Amazon profiting from the pain of victims of gun violence and racist fearmongering by streaming NRATV and advertising on Breitbart, to paying employees so little that they literally can’t put food on the table, to fighting taxes that pay for affordable housing and houselessness programs, to the race-to-the-bottom competition for HQ2, to spewing pollution that harms our health and damages our climate,” explained Salma Mirza, Campaigns Director at SumOfUs. “The lesson is simple: Jeff Bezos shouldn’t be his own boss and it is up to shareholders to help make sure that there is accountability at Amazon.”

Earlier this year, more than 89,000 SumOfUs members called on Amazon to stop streaming NRATV. The petition comes as the NRA doubled-down on its defense of the “right” to own military-grade assault rifles after calls from Parkland high school shooting survivors to institute common-sense gun safety reforms.