Thirty Percent of Ford Shareholders Vote against Family Control

Sending a message to the non-working Ford family?

While a grand total of only 63 people bothered to attend the Ford Motor Company annual meeting of shareholders in Wilmington, Delaware today, 29.5% of Ford investors voted against Ford family control of the company through their holdings of Class B stock. The Ford family gets 16 votes per share of B. Common stockholders get one vote per share. The disparity allows the Ford family to retain control of the publicly-held automaker.

Voting results showed that 3,154,667,973 shares of common stock and 70,852,076 shares of Class B Stock with a total aggregate of 5,651,353,427 votes were represented in person or by proxy at the annual meeting. These shares represented 90.5% of all the votes that could have been cast at the annual meeting.

A dissident shareholder proposal relating to consideration of a recapitalization plan to provide that all of Ford Motor Company’s outstanding stock have one vote per share was rejected, but of the total of 4,420,910,286 votes cast 29.5% of shareholders – or 1,283,063,982 of them – approved the measure. Not surprisingly, management – picked by the family – was against the proposal.

Ford earned $8.8 billion in pre-tax operating profit during 2011, an increase of $464 million over 2010. Operating margins declined to 5.4%. The numbers include a hugely favorable one-time, non-cash special item of $12.4 billion. (See Ford Motor Pays Mulally More than $29 Million in 2011)

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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