"SOME SMALL INVESTORS who want to give a piece of their minds to big tech company directors are losing their only chance; many board members are skipping annual shareholder meetings.

Companies that hold meetings online have have some of the very worst record for attendance.

A large portion of Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc, Netflix Inc, and Twitter Inc directors have not attended annual shareholders meetings in recent years, company records and securities filings show, in some cases in growing numbers.

Recent high-profile no-shows at the meetings  - which are often the only chance ''mom-and-pop''  retail investors get to ask directors questions - include Alphabet  Chief Executive Larry Page and  Facebool board member  Peter Thiel.

The companies declined to discuss the absences  in detail.

When big asset managers can get access to directors, shareholders activists and corporate governance experts say the empty seats st  annual meetings  mean small investors and campaigners challenge directors to make corporate changes may not get to engage with boards.

''If they are hearing it, they can't address it and they can't respond,'' said Christine Jantz, chief investment officer of  NorthStar Asset Management.

Facebook, for example, might have dealt better  with data privacy and scandal earlier this year if its full board had taken more notice of content oversight and content issues that were discussed at its most recent annual meetings, said Jantz.

Only  four of the eight  directors attended  Facebook's  annual meeting in 2017, according to the company's proxy filings. A transcript shows  five of the nine directors  attended its May 31 annual meeting this year and that Thiel  was not present.

A Facebook spokeswoman  declined to comment, but noted that  Jeffrey Zients, who joined Facebook's board after the meeting, replacing a departing director, did attend this year.

Alphabet, the parent of  search engine  leader  Google, has even lower numbers. Four of 11 directors attended its June 6 annual meeting, according to a spokeswoman.

CEO Page was absent, a transcript of the event shows. Four directors also attended last year's meeting. The average since  2006  is five directors.

The honor and serving of the latest Global Operational Research on governance in Tech Giants continues to Part 2.


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