Reuters – Analysis: Elon Musk deals Twitter a wild card as shareholders seek reforms
April 25, 2022
(Reuters) – Elon Musk, Twitter’s newest big shareholder, could alter the course of the social media company as management battles a set of proxy proposals focused on topics from civil rights to politics at its upcoming annual meeting, shareholder activists and corporate governance experts said.
Whatever the outcome of Musk’s $43 billion bid to buy Twitter outright announced Thursday, investors with opposing political views described the billionaire entrepreneur as likely to work to undo some of the restrictions on content that Twitter has imposed as it attempts to promote free speech while combating hate speech and false information.
Even if he fails to buy Twitter, the Tesla CEO, who recently disclosed a 9.6% stake, is seen as likely to vote in ways that could shake up the company at its virtual May 25 meeting, said people who follow corporate governance issues.
“Given where Musk has positioned himself relative to the strategy of Twitter and given he wants to be something of a disrupter, I don’t see him voting with management very often,” said Brian Bueno of Farient Advisors, a corporate governance and executive pay consulting firm.
About Brian Bueno
ESG Practice Leader, Farient Advisors/GECN Group, New York
Brian Bueno is the ESG Leader at Farient Advisors. In this role, Brian guides the firm’s strategy, research, and analysis on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) matters. Brian focuses on the ESG landscape and its intersection with executive compensation and incentives in order to assist clients in understanding stakeholder considerations and developing and implementing appropriate programs that help create stakeholder value.
Prior to re-joining Farient in 2022, Brian was vice president and product manager at Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a leading proxy advisory firm, where he led the development of solutions that assist institutional investors evaluate executive compensation and related areas at their portfolio companies across global markets. Additionally, at ISS’s Corporate Solutions arm, Brian led the creation and management of product platforms that allow companies to benchmark themselves across executive compensation and ESG topics.
Prior to joining ISS in 2015, Brian worked at Farient where he managed the development and delivery of Farient’s Performance Alignment Reports and associated research, including analyses on executive pay definitions and financial performance metrics and their link to shareholder value. At Farient, Brian also worked with clients across various industries, including energy, industrials, banking, and insurance. And before Farient, Brian held a market research role involved in identifying opportunities and risks in particular industries and communicating findings to clients and media.
Brian holds a BS from the University of Southern California’s (USC) Marshall School of Business with a triple concentration in finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship.