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Amazon shares rise ahead of shareholder AGM

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Amazon shares closed higher in the US Tuesday ahead of the tech giant’s Annual General Meeting, Wednesday. However, consumer group SumOfUs has requested the leading roles of Chairman and CEO, currently held by Jeff Bezos, should be spilt.

And, the group is expected to share its views by flying a plane with a banner bearing that message, during Wednesday’s shareholder meeting.

Amazon shares ended 0.17% higher at $1,612.87. The stock is a little lower in after-hours trading activity, however.

Bezos needs a Boss

SumOfUs is reportedly planning to fly a banner reading “Bezos needs a boss” during the firm’s AGM. That message follows a formal petition from the group, requesting splitting the two leadership roles between two people, rather than one as is the current case.

“Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeff Bezos also serves as Board Chairman,” SumOfUs states. “We believe the combination of these two roles in a single person weakens a corporation’s governance, which can harm shareholder value.”

“We believe that independent Board leadership would be particularly useful at Amazon in providing more robust oversight regarding sustainability issues…. Independent Board leadership would, we think, more likely result in improved policies and practices to mitigate these business risks,” the group said.

Amazon’s board has recommended that shareholders to vote against the proposal.

Amazon updates

Ahead of the AGM, Amazon has shared some interesting updates for its business.

Amazon Publishing has secured a two-book deal with best selling author, Patricia Cornwell. The first of the two books is due for release towards the end of 2019.

And, Amazon has also expanded its Prime Benefits to include Whole Foods across an additional 12 states. Prime now also includes all 365 Whole Foods stores.

Prime Savings are now available to Whole Foods customers with Amazon Prime, at all of the grocery stores in the US. Not only will special deal be on offer, Prime customers will also benefit from an additional 10% off all sale items in store.

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