Mark Zuckerberg Speaks, First Time Since IPO: Good Start – but Investors Need More

Posted by on September 13th, 2012

Mr. Zuckerberg made his first public appearance since the Facebook IPO debacle this week at TechCrunch’s Disrupt Conference. He spoke pretty candidly about his mobile strategy (and the fact that it was in “a pretty bad place” 6 months ago…). He dismissed the idea that Facebook was going to jump into the telecom business and offer a smartphone option.

I commend him for finally getting out and speaking publicly. This is the job of the CEO of a publicly traded company.
Nevertheless, it’s too bad that he and his IPO underwriting team didn’t acknowledge the mobile situation (or lack thereof) back on May 18th when the stock started trading (or back in February when Facebook submitted its S-1) – maybe then billions of dollars in market value wouldn’t now be lost. Of course that would also mean that hundreds of millions of dollars wouldn’t be in the pocket of Mr. Zuckerberg. Oh well – C’est la vie!

While his appearance this week was a start, Mr. Zuckerberg needs to continue to do a much better job of communicating the company’s strategy for building Facebook AND making money. To say “we are working on it” isn’t going to help add value. Only when the market can see tangible results predicated on a plan being executed upon, might the company’s stock have a chance to rebound. Based on everything I’ve seen and read, I don’t believe this will happen for quite a long time.