As Facebook’s stock continues to plummet, more investors are calling for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to step down. They say he is a smart man who built an incredible service and grew it to an unprecedented size for social networks but that he’s not qualified to take the company to the next level (or maintain it at its current level). They say he just isn’t the right person to be running a public company. They say his intentions are not aligned with the needs of the investors the way a CEO should be thinking.
Mark Zuckerberg would agree.
“There are people who are really good managers, people who can manage a big organization, and then there are people who are very analytic or focused on strategy,” he said. “Those two types don’t usually tend to be in the same person. I would put myself much more in the latter camp.”
He would agree with all of it. He agreed before the company went public. The only thing he will not agree on is that he should step down. He will never step down. Other than the price of the shares currently, everything is working out exactly the way he planned…
…and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
Zuckerberg has always maintained control over the company and always will. Even in going public he specifically noted that his position is designed to never allow for bullying, pressure, or protests to ever be able to force him out. Nobody can make him leave and no level of insult or intimation can change that fact.
As BusinessInsider’s Henry Blodget points out, every investor was warned before the company went public. Zuckerberg didn’t pull any punches. He didn’t mislead anyone. He told the world his intentions with the company. They knew (or should have known) going in that he was going to remain in charge no matter what happened. He told the world his plan was to use the money to drive innovation, not to drive innovation to make more money.
The annotations Blodget attached to Zuckerberg’s letter is spot on and explains in plain English what Zuckerberg essentially told the world prior to asking everyone to buy his stocks:
Before I begin, let me remind you that I own 57% of the voting stock of Facebook, which means I have complete control over it. I organized the company this way many years ago, with the very deliberate intention of maintainingcomplete control over it. I did this so I wouldn’t get overruled and canned by venture capitalists, a fate that unfortunately befalls many entrepreneurs. I also did it so in the event that we ever had to go public—which we unfortunately have to do now—I would never have to pay attention to whiny short-term public shareholders. Those whiny short-term public shareholders have destroyed many great companies by making management obsess about absurd near-term financial targets. I have made sure that that’s never going to happen to Facebook. If there ever comes a day when you and I disagree about the future direction of the company, rest assured: Your choice will be my way or the highway.