Have a big vision for your company – emerging or startup? Want to keep control in order to achieve those goals?
Facebook founder, chair and CEO Mark Zuckerberg lays out his vision for the social media giant’s future – one that he largely controls through how he has structured the company and its stock. Other founders can draw some wisdom from Zuckerberg’s strategy from comments he made to Wall Street analysts on Wednesday.
Recall, if you will, Zuckerberg’s new mission as he spelled out in December after the birth of his first child.
Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) reported another strong quarter, but much else was on Zuckerberg’s mind – a proposal by the firm’s board to reclassify Facebook stock.
In excerpts from the call, Zuckerberg spells out his vision based on the fact that Facebook is what he called a “controlled” company.
“We’re focused on the long term, and that’s the main reason for today’s proposal.
“Facebook has always been a foundry-light company, so we can focus on our mission and build long-term value. This structure has served our shareholders well. Early on, we received some generous offers for companies trying to buy Facebook, and our structure helped us resist that pressure.
“More recently, we navigated a challenging transition to mobile. But because we were a controlled company, we were able to focus on improving the user and product experience of our apps first and then build a strong mobile business over time rather than being forced to do something shortsighted.
“And over the years, our structure has helped us make big bets on acquisitions like Instagram that were very controversial …
“Facebook has been built by a series of bold moves. And when I look out into the future, I see more bold moves ahead of us … We’re focused not on what Facebook is, but on what it can be and on what it needs to be, and that means doing bold things.
“A lot of what we’re building today in areas like connectivity, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality may not pay off for years, but they’re important to our mission of connecting the world. And I’m committed to seeing this mission through …
“Personally, there’s another element to this. While helping to connect the world will always be the most important thing that I do, there are more global challenges that I also feel a responsibility to help solve to create a better world for my daughter and all future generations, things like: helping to cure all disease by the end of the century; upgrading our education system so it’s personalized for each student; and protecting our environment from climate change. That’s why Priscilla and I created the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and committed to give 99% of our Facebook shares to advance human potential and promote equality.
“Today’s board proposal will allow us to maintain and improve the voting structure that has served us well and allow me to fund the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. …”
Read the full transcript at: