Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has plans to go into government, according to court documents seen by Bloomberg.
Marc Andreessen, a Facebook board member, is being accused by investors of failing to represent their interests. As part of a lawsuit against Facebook, some of the texts sent between Andreessen and Zuckerberg have been made public — providing an unprecedented insight into the inner workings of the social network’s leadership.
The lawsuit focuses around a change to Facebook’s stock structure earlier this year. Mark Zuckerberg currently holds a majority share of voting Facebook stock, giving him control of the company. But he wanted to be able to sell this off to fund his new philanthropy efforts — the “Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative” — without losing this control.
So he proposed creating a new class of shares, and three board members were placed on a special committee to represent shareholders in the discussions. One of these was Marc Andreessen, the Netscape cofounder-turned-Silicon Valley investor.
One of Zuckerberg’s motivations was — allegedly — that he wanted to be able work in government while still retaining control of Facebook.
Bloomberg reports that the documents allege that Erskine Bowles, one of Facebook board members on the special committee, was “worried that one of the concessions Zuckerberg wanted — to allow the billionaire to serve two years in government without losing control of Facebook — would look particularly irresponsible.”
Beyond that titbit, we’re light on details as to what Zuckerberg’s purported government ambitions entail — whether he had an elected role or an appointed one in mind, for example, or whether there was a possible area of focus. Facebook did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
The case also claims that Marc Andreessen’s texts to Mark Zuckerberg show he failed to represent shareholders’ interests. The board member texted the exec during discussions to give pointers on strategy and effective lines of argument: “This line of argument is not helping. ☺” he wrote in one, and saying “NOW WE’RE COOKING WITH GAS” in another.
The Financial Times reports that the plaintiffs are accusing Zuckerberg of a “self-interested agglomeration of power.”
A Facebook spokesperson told Bloomberg that “Facebook is confident that the special committee engaged in a thorough and fair process to negotiate a proposal in the best interests of Facebook and its shareholders.”