- Mark Zuckerberg said he has no intention of stepping down as Facebook chairman.
- That’s despite fresh calls from investors to split his dual role as CEO and chairman after an explosive New York Times investigation into Facebook’s crisis management.
- Zuckerberg shifted the focus to other initiatives, including creating an independent body to help Facebook make decisions about whether controversial content should be deleted.
Mark Zuckerberg is ignoring calls for his head.
A blockbuster New York Times report on Wednesday exposed new management failings at Facebook and a controversial pact with a PR firm to smear the company’s critics, which Zuckerberg, and his second-in-command Sheryl Sandberg, said they knew nothing about.
The Times investigation prompted fresh calls from investors for Zuckerberg to relinquish his dual role as CEO and chairman, and appoint an independent director to oversee the board.
“A company with Facebook’s massive reach and influence requires robust oversight and that can only be achieved through an independent chair who is empowered to provide critical checks on company leadership,” said Scott Stringer, the New York City comptroller.
Stringer, who controls Facebook shares worth around $US1 billion, is one of many vocal investors intent on removing Zuckerberg as chairman. And with each new crisis, they get louder with their demands.
But in a call with journalists on Thursday, Zuckerberg dug in. “I don’t think that that specific proposal is the right way to go,”he said when asked if he would consider stepping down as chairman.
Facebook has previously said dividing the roles would create “uncertainty, confusion, and inefficiency.” Although Zuckerberg did not go that far, it’s clear he still sees it as a bad idea.
Instead, the billionaire shifted the focus to other initiatives Facebook has launched to “get more independence into our systems.” This included creating an independent body to help Facebook make decisions about whether controversial content should remain on the site or be removed.
Ultimately, he said Facebook is never going to eradicate mistakes. “We’re never going to get to the point where there are no errors,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to set up the company so that way we have our board, and we report on our financial results and do a call every quarter, but that also we have this independent oversight that is just focused on the community.”