Symantec answers critics of online-only shareholder meeting

Last month, security software vendor Symantec became the first Fortune 500 company to hold an online only shareholders meeting.

That decision proved to be controversial, with at least one investor complaining that a question they submitted had been ignored. Concerns were also raised that it was not possible to see which executives were in attendance, as there was no video feed.

Yesterday, the Reuters new agency reported that Symantec’s chairman John Thomson said some questions were overlooked due to technical glitches.

“To our surprise, after the meeting ended, we discovered that there was a time lag that occurred that caused a delay in Symantec seeing additional questions submitted due to vendor network and technology reasons," he wrote in a letter to the Shareholder Forum.

Broadridge Financial Solutions, whose technology was used to conduct the online meeting, denies that any such fault occurred. "If there had been a problem with our technology for Symantec’s meeting, we’d have addressed it then,” it said in a statement.

Thomson wrote in his letter that the company is investigating ways to allow for greater shareholder participation in future online meetings. “We recognize the importance of hearing from stockholders in their own words and will implement a format that gives stockholders that opportunity,” he says.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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