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Zuckerberg Wary of Facebook IPO

The founder and CEO of Facebook is hesitant over making his company public because he doesn’t want innovation to depend on the whims of stockholders’ interest in short term gains.

What’s the Latest Development?

Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s hesitations over making Facebook a private company, the social media giant is set to make an initial public offering that would turn the enterprise into a liquid asset worth billions of dollars. “Zuck has said before that he thinks an IPO will ruin innovation in exchange for doing what will please shareholders and drive stock prices. … Zuck’s going ahead on the IPO because he basically has to.” Once Facebook has over 500 shareholders (the benchmark is fast approaching), it must make its finances public anyway.

What’s the Big Idea?

Will the short term profit-making interests of shareholders stifle innovation inside Facebook? That may well depend on the kind of management team Zuckerberg has built at the company over the years. Will they follow his vision or the vision of investors? So far, Zuckerberg’s team has held its cards close to the chest, suggesting loyalty to him before earnings reports. The company’s chief financial officer, for example, worked independently of Wall Street to construct dummy earnings reports for when Facebook goes public.

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