Facebook CEO says company has overcome hurdles
“Facebook has not been an uncontroversial company. It’s not like this is the first up and down we have ever had.” MARK ZUCKERBERG, Facebook CEO
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, acknowledging concerns about his company’s stock performance, said Tuesday that Facebook has survived troubles before.
He spoke to a standing-room-only audience at a tech conference in San Francisco in his first interview since the company’s rocky initial public offering in May.
Facebook Inc.’s stock has lost half its value since the IPO.
Zuckerberg said the drop “has obviously been disappointing,” but he said it’s a great time to “double down” on the company’s future.
“Facebook has not been an uncontroversial company,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s not like this is the first up and down we have ever had.”
Among other things, Facebook Inc. has repeatedly faced criticism and user rebellion over its policies and practices affecting data privacy.
Wearing a gray T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, Zuckerberg appeared in a half-hour “fireside chat” at the San Francisco Disrupt conference organized by technology blog TechCrunch.
After he began speaking, Facebook’s stock increased 74 cents, 3.8 percent, to $20.17 in after-hours trading. That’s on top of a 3.3 percent gain during the regular session.
“We have a pretty good compass,” Zuckerberg said. “I always like to think that when folks are being too nice, we aren’t as good as they say they are. And when the media is being too critical, we are not as bad as they say we are.”
Investors have been concerned about Facebook’s ability to keep growing revenue, especially as more people use it from mobile devices, where there is less room to show ads.
Zuckerberg said it was “really easy for folks to underestimate how really fundamentally good mobile is for us.”
He made it clear that Facebook wants to make money and will do that by figuring out mobile. Although Zuckerberg has long talked about the company’s mission to make the world more open and connected, he acknowledged, “we can’t just focus on that.”