Posted by Nikita Sonecha, Associate
Who’s feeling Uber-active?
With Uber on the brink of a historic IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, employment lawyer Nikita Sonecha asks if driver activism leading up to the offering or during the AGM is going to be a disruptive force for this vast, but relatively delicate company.
This article originally appeared as a letter to the editor in CityAM 10/05/19
Uber has a troubled history with its workers and the regulators around the world and following its float public scrutiny will become even greater.
Given that its expected share price is between $44 and $50, it is entirely likely that individual Uber drivers may choose to buy one share to give them the right to ask one question of its CEO at the AGM – a rare opportunity for investors.
The phenomenon of shareholder activism is on the rise, with an increasing impact. Shareholder activism isn’t a ticket to short term share price gain bur rather a route for campaigners, investors and employees, or in Uber’s case workers, try to force companies to change their behaviour. Uber should expect the same.
Shareholder activists can in extreme cases seek to change board positions through simple majority voting. It is designed to deter poor governance that might pose a threat to the longevity or profitability of the company.
Whilst it is unlikely share holding Uber drivers could achieve that, it does give them a powerful voice that could impact Uber where it hurts – its share price.
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