Facebook Facing CEO Woes
Mark Zuckerberg’s foray into being the top executive at a company with a $15 billion valuation has been dismaying to Facebook users and advertisers.
Remaking the world of online advertising would be an ambitious stretch for the most experienced executives on the Internet. Facebook’s approach, spurred by Zuckerberg’s pronouncement that "once every hundred years, media changes," has been a clunker so far.
Missteps by the company have not helped its public perception. Facebook had to change Beacon, its tattletale social referral program, after privacy complaints began hitting the media.
Users didn’t like having their latest online purchases hit the Facebook News Feeds of their friends. Advertisers aren’t happy with being part of a controversy, especially as changes to Beacon may make it less useful than Facebook has led them to believe.
Facebook’s legal action against a website that published a less than flattering picture of Zuckerberg, along with some personal information like his Social Security number and his girlfriend’s name, ended up backfiring despite the legitimate claim that these details should not have been part of the report.
"It should come as no surprise, of course, given it was essentially a legal temper tantrum on the part of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg," Swisher wrote.
The formidable task ahead of Zuckerberg, and those who advise him behind the scenes, indicates the youthful executive should follow Google’s example. With a lucrative IPO pending, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page rescued Eric Schmidt from his faltering stint as Novell’s CEO to run the search advertising company.
Facebook would likely find plenty of interested candidates, especially anyone who has envied Schmidt’s steady prescheduled selling of Google shares that has netted him millions. The prospect of having a motivated CEO in place to guide Facebook to the promised land of rich profits should be enough to nudge Zuckerberg toward finding someone to suit the bill.