Despite Success, Zuckerberg's Business Skills, Facebook's Future Questioned - NBC Bay Area

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Despite Success, Zuckerberg's Business Skills, Facebook's Future Questioned

Leery investors question Mark Zuckerberg's corporate executive skills, in spite of towering success to date.



    Despite Success, Zuckerberg's Business Skills, Facebook's Future Questioned
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    Mark Zuckerberg will try to convince investors that he is savvy enough to lead a company -- which he's already been leading since its inception.

    They read the stories. They saw the movie. They heard the IPO presentation. But they still have questions -- about the most important skill yet.

    What's not known about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would not likely fill a very long book, with details of his managerial style, rise to riches, and personal life appearing in every conceivable form of media. But the 28-year old billionaire's business acumen is still unproven, according to Wall Street investors and analysts -- and with Facebook's corporate structure organized so that Zuckerberg owns an unassailable 55.8 percent of the company's stock, nobody can force him out, even if the company stumbles after its much-heralded IPO this week, the Chronicle reported.

    The problem, as investors see it, is the track record with founders remaining as CEOs well into a company's lifespan. Yes, Zuckerberg oversaw Facebook's rise from a Web site run from his dorm room into a global firm with almost a billion users and thousands of employees. But he did this using the corporate motto of "Move fast and break things," the newspaper observed. That could also mean "take big risks and lose big money" down the road.

    Take Zuckerberg's $1 billion grab of Instagram, for example. In other firms, pressure from investors who could throw the CEO out might temper the urge to make such risky moves. Not so with Facebook, where the founder rules.

    And why not? Thus far, he's made the right moves, observers say, from growing at the right pace to hiring the right people to run divisions of the company. And until he sells off, it's Zuckerberg's ride: would-be stockholders are just passengers.