Facebook CEO Admits to Missteps, Stock Disappointment

In his first public appearance since a much-maligned IPO, Mark Zuckerberg predicts mobile upside though.


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday night acknowledged that the social network's sharp stock decline since its May IPO has put a strain on employees.

"The performance of the stock has obviously been disappointing," he told the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, according to the Wall Street Journal. "It doesn't help" as an incentive to staff. 

But in his first public appearance since the firm's much-maligned IPO in May, Zuckerberg also told the conference that many at his company own restricted stock units paid out in present-day values.

That means that if the company has upside to its market value, they will benefit in the future. "It's a great time for people to stay and double down," the Journal quoted him as saying.

The CEO also highlighted though that Facebook staff tends to be motivated much more by "building stuff that they're proud of."

Zuckerberg admitted to other missteps as well, particularly in the area of mobile strategy, where the company has failed to attract as much advertising revenue as hoped.

He said his team focused too much on the HTML5 technology, which allows apps to work across various devices, but has seen Facebook apps turn out less sophisticated than those for Apple's iPhone, according to the Journal.

But the paper said that Zuckerberg highlighted that Facebook sees its future on mobile phones and devices, predicting upside over time.

Asked if like Google and others his company could develop its own smartphones, he said that would be "so clearly the wrong strategy for us."

Facebook's stock gained 3.3 percent in regular Tuesday trading and rose an additional 3.4 percent in after-hours trading following Zuckerberg's appearance.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai