Well Done Facebook
Back in January, Sam Gustin of Portfolio Magazine asked me the following question in an interview:
Do you think that Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg has what it takes to
take a potentially $15 billion company public? Or do you think Facebook
should follow in Google’s footsteps and bring in an experienced
technology C.E.O. like Eric Schmidt before they go public?
I think [Zuckerberg] can do it, but he’s going to need some help. Bill
Gates found [early Microsoft President and C.O.O.] Jon Shirley. Larry
Ellison had a number of people over the years that have helped him run his company.
It doesn’t mean that Zuckerberg has to give up control of the company.
Larry and Sergey have never given up control of Google. Everyone knows
that. They just delegated certain responsibilities to Eric, and they’ve
given Eric the ability to weigh in on every issue that matters to the
company, and they’ve created a structure that works. I’m sure there are
some frustrations at times, but it works, and it’s made all of them
fabulously wealthy. So I think absolutely Mark needs to do that. And I
think if he’s willing to listen to the people around him, including his
board, his confidants, and his management team, he will do that.
Well Mark Zuckerberg did just that this winter and it resulted in the hiring of Sheryl Sandberg as COO. I don’t know Sheryl, but her resume is impressive and she seems like the perfect alter ego for Mark. I hope and expect that this will work out well for Mark, Sheryl, and most importantly Facebook. Well done.