While he was hammering away in negotiations to acquire Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg made sure his lawyers were out of the way.
According to a new story in the New York Times, he actually kept them inside his five-bedroom house while he and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom discussed the acquisition over steak and ice cream outside.
“As the deal came to a close, Mark and Kevin sat outside and ate steaks and ice cream, while the lawyers all sat inside watching ‘Game of Thrones,’ ” an unnamed source who was present at the talks told the New York Times:
It wasn’t lost on those there, this person said, that “two 20-somethings were alone hammering out the terms of the deal.”
The Instagram deal underscored how Mr. Zuckerberg has cemented his power over the last eight years. Facebook’s board, which got a brief e-mail about the deal a few days before it was announced, according to those close to the company, never pushed back.
Zuckerberg has time and again proven himself a shrewd negotiator who is mostly concerned with keeping the lawyers out of the way. “We don’t need to get any lawyers involved. Let’s just talk alone,” he’ll tell companies he wants to acquire over the phone, according ot the New York Times.
He mostly keeps investors out of the conversation, according to the report:
“Mark will convince companies he is going to acquire that they should accept a deal on a projected valuation,” says one C.E.O. who held talks with Mr. Zuckerberg. “Then, he’ll go back to investors who want to put money into Facebook and say, look, this start-up was going to join us at this valuation, so you should invest at that number.”