CurrentTV is going public, and that means big money for founder Al Gore. But something about the deal rubs Rob Grover of BusinessWeek the wrong way. Gore is drawing a big salary, even though the little-watched channel is losing money, and the share distribution is decidedly undemocratic—Gore and CEO Joel Hyatt will get enough Class B shares to out-vote everyone else.
Each Class B share gives the founder and CEO 10 votes. That way, execs argue, Gore can protect CurrentTV’s vision and integrity. But it’s still something shareholder rights activists hate, and it “just stinks” coming from the populist Gore. Overall, the IPO’s terms are so favorable for Gore, that Grover doubts investors will bankroll the former vice president’s dream.