Usually not directly, no. Investors usually keep themselves at a distance from the company because they usually have other things to do with their time. They don’t work for the company and many of them lack the ability to affect much on their own. It’s how the system works.
Investors own shares of the company. Each share grants its owner one vote. The more shares someone owns, the more votes they command. If they don’t own a lot of shares, they don’t have a lot of votes… but if enough of investors with enough shares band together, they can collectively make a bigger difference when it reaches voting time. This is why owning 51% or more of a company gives that owner a “controlling” stake - anyone who owns 51% or more of the shares can outvote all the remaining shareholders by herself.
It isn’t really feasible to hold investor votes for every single company decision though, so the investors elect a board of directors every year to keep an eye on the company’s day-to-day decisions for them. The board, representing the investors, appoints the top decision-makers of the company like the CEO - the Chief Executive Officer, who Executes the will of the investors. It is these executives appointed by the board who make the decisions about running the company, including things like hiring and firing.
Thus a single investor who owns a handful of shares of stock in my employer lacks any real power over me and can’t really fire me. But if enough investors with enough shares demand the CEO fire me, the CEO may care about their opinion enough to do it.
[Join us on Discord] and/or [Support us on Patreon]
Got a burning question you want answered?
- Short questions: Ask a Game Dev on Twitter
- Long questions: Ask a Game Dev on Tumblr
- Frequent Questions: The FAQ