Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2013 Contents A23
Friday, September 13, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SAN FRANCISCO---Facebook CEO
Mark Zuckerberg didn t really want
to take his company public last year,
but he has changed his mind now that
the Internet social network s stock is
Zuckerberg told a San Francisco audi-
ence attending a technology conference
that he believes the rigours of an initial
public offering of stock completed 16
months ago turned Facebook Inc into
a stronger company.
"We run our company a lot better
now," Zuckerberg said late Wednesday
during an onstage interview at the con-
ference put on by AOL Inc s
TechCrunch blog. "In retrospect, I was
too afraid of going public. I have been
very outspoken about staying private
as long as possible, but I don t think
it s that necessary to do that."
The remarks came just a few hours
after Facebook s stock hit its highest
price since the IPO, which had been
widely panned as a monumental flop
until investors recently regained their
faith in Zuckerberg and the Menlo Park,
Facebook s stock gained US$1.44 to
close at US$45.04, slightly above the
previous peak reached on its first day
of trading in May 2012.
The current price may not look that
impressive, given that it s just 18 per
cent above the US$38 per share paid
by investors who bought into the IPO.
By comparison, Standard & Poor s
500 index has risen by 29 per cent dur-
ing the same stretch. And the stock of
online professional networking service
LinkedIn Corp---a much smaller com-
pany than Facebook---has increased by
more than fivefold since it was priced
at US$45 in a May 2011 IPO.
But Facebook has made a remarkable
recovery since bottoming out at
US$17.55 last September. It was hit by
concerns about the company s slowing
growth and skepticism about Zucker-
berg s ability to sell more advertising
on the mobile devices that have become
the social network s main conduit with
its 1.1 billion monthly users.
Zuckerberg predicted Facebook would
build a thriving mobile business when
he appeared at TechCrunch s conference
last year, and now Wall Street believes
Facebook left little doubt it s now
heading in right direction when it
released second-quarter results in late
July that topped analysts projections
and showed that 41 per cent, or US$656
million, of the company s digital adver-
tising revenue now comes from mobile
phones and tablet computers.
Since those numbers came out, Face-
book s stock has surged by 66 per cent.
No one has benefited from the gain
more than Zuckerberg, who has seen
the value of his Facebook stock soar
from US$16 billion to US$27 billion in
less than two months.
Zuckerberg, 29, had resisted taking
Facebook public for years because he
worried he would lose control over the
company that he co-founded in 2004
in his Harvard University dorm room.
He was also concerned that Facebook s
workforce would start focusing more
on the company s stock price instead
of building great products and servic-
es.Now, he considers it to be "a valuable
process" that helped him learn more
about the best way to run Facebook.
"You have to just stay focused on doing
the right stuff," Zuckerberg said.
"Sometimes it might take the market
a little while to catch up and see the
results of what you re doing."
Zuckerberg reflected on Facebook s
IPO in response to a question about
how he would advise online messaging
service Twitter, which is expected to
go public within the next year. "I am
kind of the person you would want to
ask last how to make a smooth IPO,"
During his half-hour appearance,
Zuckerberg also criticised the Obama
administration for not being more
forthcoming about how the National
Security Agency has been obtaining
electronic communications and other
information transmitted over the Inter-
net from a list of major technology
companies that includes Facebook,
Google Inc, Yahoo Inc, Microsoft Inc
and Apple Inc.
Documents that former NSA con-
tractor Edward Snowden has shared
with major newspapers have indicated
Facebook and the other companies have
set up systems to help the NSA monitor
online communications to protect
The companies have said they have
only turned over a limited amount of
personal information, and only under
orders from a secret court. Facebook,
Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have all
filed lawsuits seeking clearance to dis-
close more details about the orders that
have been submitted to them by the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
"I think it s our job and my job to
protect everyone who uses Facebook
and all the information that they share
with us," Zuckerberg said.
"It s our government s job to protect
all of us, and also to protect our freedom
and economy and companies. I think
they did a bad job of balancing those
things here. Frankly, I think the gov-
ernment blew it." (AP)
says IPO made
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. AP PHOTO
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