Facebook's Zuckerberg Absent From Analyst Meeting

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Facebook's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg skipped a meeting with analysts and bankers held at the company headquarters in Menlo park, CA on Monday, according to those familiar with the conference. David Ebersman, Facebook's CFO, stated that Mr. Zuckerberg preferred to focus his time on developing the service rather than play a role with such analysts, according to insiders.

Monday's meeting came almost two weeks after Facebook put together a group of 31 underwriters to help sell the IPO, which at almost $10 billion will be the largest Web IPO ever in the U.S., expected to be completed by sometime in May. Facebook plans to pay a below average fee to underwriters of the stock sale at 1.1%, which is roughly half the average fee for deals $5 billion or more, over the past 5 years, as reported by Dealogic. Wall Street analysts say that the low Facebook fee is indicative of the prestige value of the deal - though the fee wouldn't be as low as the less than 1% the U.S. government paid for the stock sales of General Motors Co.

Monday's three hour meeting was presided over by Ebersman and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. General counsel Ted Ullyot, vice president of engineering Mike Schroepfer and vice president of product Chris Cox were also present - Zuckerberg's absence pointed to the notion that senior executives at Facebook have yet to make any decisions on his ultimate role as the company sells shares to investors.

Also mentioned at the meeting was Facebook's claim that its users top Google+1 users by as much as 140 times, regarding time spent on their respective sites. Also, the company mentioned it would have a response to a patent lawsuit filed by Yahoo Inc. within a few weeks.

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