Google Stock Split Ensures Continued Control
Yesterday, at Google’s annual shareholders meeting, a decision to split stock and introduce a new class of non-voting stock was approved.
The good news for the company’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, they maintain their majority 56 percent voting power at Google.
The issue of undermining their authority arose as the company continued to issue more shares to finance future acquisitions and compensate new employees.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt presided over the meeting explaining to shareholders that CEO Larry Page had, lost his voice, and would be unable to attend the meeting or speak at next week’s annual developers conference for Android mobile software.
While there has been no further information or reports on Page’s health, it doesn’t seem to be a condition which keeps him from performing his duties as CEO.
As far as the stock split goes, no exact dates have been given for the event, but it’s is believed no action can be taken until a lawsuit challenging the split is resolved. Due to be in court sometime in October, the complaint was filed by a Delaware shareholder who says the split violates fiduciary duty by assenting to the co-founders (Page and Brin).
By cutting the current class A stocks in half, each shareholder would then hold two shares, each worth half the original. The new class of stock issued, class C stock, would be non-voting shares. In other words, the holders of class C stock have no clout as far as the direction of the company goes.
As it stands right now, Page, Brin, and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt control about two-thirds of the voting power at Google. And it doesn’t appear this is likely to change anytime soon.
We’ll keep you updated on the shareholder lawsuit, the stock split, and any further news with CEO Page’s health condition. Check back for updates.