More Grownups For Facebook: Andreessen To Board

More high-level help for Mark Zuckerberg: He’s getting a new PR boss — Elliot Schrage, from Google (GOOG) — and a new board member — Marc Andreessen, from the origins of the Web.

Kara Swisher reports that Marc has “verbally agreed” to join the Facebook board, where he’ll join Zuck and investors Peter Thiel and Jim Breyer. Marc may be best known to SAI readers as proprietor of an excellent blog and as co-founder of a well-funded startup. But of course he’s been around the block several times, and should have some useful advice for Zuck, whose life is only going to get more interesting in the next year or so.

For starters, Facebook may well be an acquisition target for Microsoft (MSFT) which is looking to to replace the one that got away. Steve Ballmer has already pointed to Facebook as one of the companies that can help him achieve the audience scale that Yahoo (YHOO) would have provided.

And if Zuck rebuffs those advances, he’ll have another big decision coming within the next year or so: Who is going to be CEO when Facebook files its IPO in 2009 or 2010?

By that point Zuck will be in his mid-20s, and it’s hard to believe that Wall Street will climb aboard for an offering if he’s formally running the place. So who else? New COO Sheryl Sandberg has the Eric Schmidt role for now, but Zuck may have other ideas. It may be useful to bounce those off Marc, who has a few years of experience running high-profile Web startups at a tender age.

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