Lyft founders Logan Green and John Zimmer are giving themselves outsize influence over the company when it goes public this year. The two have made moves to create dual-class shares so that they get extra votes per share, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
While it isn’t uncommon for companies to create dual-class shares before an IPO, Messrs. Green and Zimmer have had unusually small ownership over Lyft compared with other private tech firms. They own a less than 10% stake in the company.
The plan comes despite opposition to such provisions by several SEC commissioners and shareholder interest groups. It’s a bold move for the two men atop Lyft, which would presumably have less leverage with eventual public investors because it is smaller than Uber. And it follows what has been a trend of powerful tech executives ceding some power to investors: Both Slack and Uber put limits on supervoting shares. One question now is whether Lyft is giving supervoting shares to all pre-IPO shareholders, or whether it is creating a class of founder-only supervoting shares.