- The New York Times report on Facebook crisis management reports a stunning failure in the leadership of CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
- The report shows that at best it was not interested in some of the scandals that hit his company and the worst accomplices for their deterioration.
- It is red meat to strong investors who want to eliminate Zuckerberg as president.
- His retirement as chairman would allow him to recognize his failures, throw a bone on Facebook's critics and still maintain control of the business he built.
Unless you've read The New York's vast 6,000-word words about how Facebook faced a series of scandals, it's a remarkable investment of your time.
Based on interviews with 50 people, it is rich with catastrophic anecdotes and mini scandals. On their own, sending black scientists to throw George Soros as a marionette lady behind an anti-Facebook movement is terrifying and alarming.
But overall, the impression I drew was one of the spectacular failures in leadership. And in that sense, all the roads lead to CEO and Facebook President Mark Zuckerberg.
The Times depicts Zuckerberg as, at best, uninterested in some of the existential issues that have threatened Facebook over the last three years and, worst, even cooperate to make them worse.
Concerning lack of interest, the report said Zuckerberg and his right-wing wife, chief executive Sheryl Sandberg, "withdrew from personal projects" as Facebook was jeopardized.
As evidence of the Russian engagement that was posted last year, according to the report, Zuckerberg was in a "hearing." He also said he prefers to focus on "wider technology issues", leaving politics at Sandberg.
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In defense of Zuckerberg, Facebook said on Thursday that he and Sandberg "are deeply involved in the fight against false news and information on Facebook."
And as things get worse, there is an anecdote about ignoring anger against its social network in a clumsy conversation with Republican representative Greg Walden.
But something else stood out and talks about how Zuckerberg faces crises. In the heat of the Cambridge Analytica data disaster, Facebook was criticized by Apple CEO Tim Cook. Instead of getting it on the chin, The Times said, Zuckerberg was alive.
"Mr Cook's criticism has damaged Mr Zuckerberg, who later ordered his management team to use only Android phones – arguing that the operating system had much more users than Apple," The Times said.
It's smacks of isolation at a time when Facebook needs a reasoned responsibility. (Facebook said in response to the Times report that it "has long encouraged our employees and executives to use Android").
Zuckerberg's failures are red meat for furious investors
All this is red meat in the rising bones of the angry investors who want Zuckerberg went ahead as president.
Business Insider has repeatedly spoken with activist shareholders, with over $ 3 billion worth of holdings. They believe that Zuckerberg's feet should be kept in the flame by an independent president.
read more: These investors control $ 3 billion Facebook stock – and they want to get Zuckerberg down
"It is not accountable to anyone, not to the board of directors or shareholders, which is a bad practice of corporate governance," he told me. "He is himself his supervisor and clearly was not working."
A proposal to remove him as chairman was proposed last year. The analysis showed that it was based on 51% of independent investors at the annual shareholders' meeting. There is now a new proposal to separate the double role of Zuckerberg to be voted on next year's shareholders meeting. Has already gathered support.
Facebook has constantly removed these requirements. He said an independent president would create "uncertainty, confusion and inefficiency". This is despite the fact that this governance mechanism works quite smoothly in other technology companies, such as Apple, Twitter and Microsoft.
And there is an element in the history of the Times that underlines the value of independent supervision. He has board member Erskine Bowles, chairman of Facebook's audit committee, conducting a chopped grid of the administration about how the company has allowed it to become a tool for Russian interference.
Zuckerberg and Sandberg were impressed.
It's not like Zuckerberg is blind to Facebook's failures. He admits that buck stops with him. "I designed the platform, so if someone is going to fire for it, it should be me," he told Recode earlier this year.
His retirement as chairman would allow him to acknowledge his failures, throw a bone to angry shareholders and Facebook critics, and still retain control of the $ 40 billion company he created in Harvard.
It can also help achieve the ultimate goal of making Facebook a better, safer place for its 2 billion users.
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