- Mark Zuckerberg is running Facebook like the company is at war, according to reports.
- He is being more aggressive in tackling existential threats and is quicker to call out mistakes and attach blame.
- But the new leadership style is creating unprecedented turmoil, The Wall Street Journal said.
Mark Zuckerberg is acting like Facebook is at war, but it’s creating unprecedented turmoil within his own ranks.
According to two reports, the 34-year-old billionaire has changed his leadership style to a battle footing after Facebook was dragged into a sequence of scandals, including election meddling and data breaches.
The Wall Street Journal said Zuckerberg told a meeting of 50 top Facebook executives in June that Facebook is under siege and he plans to run the company accordingly.
Sources told the newspaper that he is pressing executives to “make progress faster” on big issues, including securing the company’s future growth and making Facebook safe for users.
But the more aggressive style is proving unpopular, the Journal said, and is partly to blame for a rash of senior departures in recent months.
This includes Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who the Journal said were set against Zuckerberg’s plans to boost ad targetting by sharing location data on Instagram users with Facebook.
Zuckerberg’s change of tone has even created tensions with his closest ally: COO Sheryl Sandberg. He blamed her for the Cambridge Analytica debacle, leaving her rattled and fearing for her job, the Journal said.
Zuckerberg throws press team under a bus
Now, members of Facebook’s press team feel like they have been hit by the Zuckerberg express, according to NBC News media reporter Dylan Byers.
During a call with journalists last week, Zuckerberg very publically blamed the communications division for hiring PR firm Definers Public Affairs to smear Facebook’s critics.
And according to Byers, Zuckerberg thinks there are bigger problems with Facebook’s comms team. In his Byers Market newsletter, he said Zuckerberg’s belief is that Facebook’s bad publicity stems from a bungled press strategy and sensational media coverage.
But the press team is shocked at being thrown under a bus. “It’s total arrogance,” one of the sources told Byers. “Everyone is pissed.”
Business Insider has contacted Facebook for comment. Both Zuckerberg and Sandberg said they did not know about the Definers deal, but the latter accepted responsibility for it.