On Monday, Mr. Zuckerberg skipped a meeting of analysts and bankers at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif, headquarters, according to people familiar with the meeting. In response to a question about his absence, the company’s chief financial officer, David Ebersman, said Mr. Zuckerberg preferred to focus his time on developing the service rather than play a role with such analysts, the people said. – Wall Street Journal
Boston, May 11, 2012
In a Boston hotel on Thursday afternoon, Facebook executives fielded a dozen questions from an audience of roughly 100 investors, who dined on lobster salad, asparagus spears, and guinea hens killed hours earlier by Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.
The social media juggernaut is prepping potential investors for what is expected to be the largest IPO in world history later this month, although, who knows, now that Ginkgo Residential Trust has also filed to go public.
Mr. Zuckerberg appeared relaxed, wearing a gray hoodie and noise-canceling Bose headphones as he settled in to watch “The Social Network” on his laptop, while Facebook’s chief financial officer, David Ebersman, launched a brief slideshow presentation that addressed Facebook’s capital spending and operating margins.
Senior Facebook executives told investors earlier this week that Mr. Zuckerberg was unlikely to play a starring role in the roadshow to sell the company’s shares, saying Mr. Zuckerberg would “rather shop for flip-flops on ShoeDazzle,” according to one source familiar with the matter (who noted that ShoeDazzle doesn’t even sell men’s shoes).
At the luncheon, Mr. Ebersman’s presentation was followed by another from Facebook’s vice president of product Chris Cox, who joined Facebook 18 months after its founding, and who recounted to the crowd that in those early days, he “was pretty skeptical that Facebook was the real deal.” Patting Mr. Zuckerberg on the back – Mr. Zuckerberg brushed away his hand — Mr. Cox then dived into some of the company’s newest initiatives around new brand pages, mobile payments, and developer tools.
Mr. Cox added that Facebook now has 900 million active users, and roughly 45 million users on its mobile app, though executives later sidestepped questions about some of Facebook’s less-successful initiatives, including Facebook Gifts, Facebook Lite, and the Facebook McRib.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s highly celebrated chief operating officer, fielded most of the questions, including two that centered on Facebook’s patent dispute with Yahoo. One questioner forgot what he was saying when Mr. Zuckerberg abruptly dislodged his headphones, thrust them into a mesh backpack at his side, and began furiously typing on his computer.
According to one source seated near the CEO, Mr. Zuckerberg had apparently logged on to Twitter to flame the actor Jesse Eisenberg, tweeting, “@jesseeisenberg you got an Oscar nom for THAT? Lmao. #yousuck #careerisover.” (And worse.)
Indeed, one attendee who dared to direct a question to Mr. Zuckerberg while he was still tweeting was quietly escorted from the small ballroom by two plain-clothes guardsmen.
Afterward, outside the hotel where the luncheon was hosted, another investor who asked not to be named saw Mr. Zuckerberg kill a pigeon. Rendered speechless, the investor said he overheard Mr. Zuckerberg — the bird’s limp carcass still in his hands – complaining that he’d just learned that Mr. Eisenberg is “not into Facebook or Twitter” and was therefore unlikely to see his tweets.
Zuckerberg was also overheard saying that, on principal, he would eat the pigeon for dinner, according to the investor, who still plans to buy all the Facebook shares he can.