Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg And Resignation: Too Much Too Early?

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Aarzu Khan
A full-time data scientists and a part-time industry analyst; still learning power of effective presentation and firm believer of the thought "Numbers are always magical". Love to be in the network of people who 'know' how to respect their time and keep others engaged in meaningful activities.

The Cambridge Analytica incident has raised many questions on the data security measures Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has taken so far. Facebook finds itself in hot waters as everyone is aiming Mark Zuckerberg for the Facebook fiasco. While many expect that Mark Zuckerberg should have handled the situation more pro-actively instead of taking five days to come out with a full page apology, there are few who strongly suggest that its time for Mark Zuckerberg to call it quits.

Undoubtedly, Facebook is at centre stage of the whole controversy. The management has reportedly engaged a number of senior executives to deal with the situation that has cost, so far, over $100 billion to Facebook and over $10 billion to Mark Zuckerberg personally. Cambridge Analytica has refuted the claim and denied all the allegations of harvesting personal data of 50 million Facebook users.

Amid to all the unfolding controversy, there are few media journalists who apparently look excited to start a media trail on Mark Zuckerberg. They have not only blamed Mark Zuckerberg for practising shady strategies at Facebook, also declared him convicted for the whole debacle. But they have not just stopped there; they went on suggesting Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook doesn’t need him anymore and how he has measurably failed to add value to Facebook. From tagging all his attempts to make Facebook a better place to network with word ‘failure‘ to declaring situation like get-out-of-jail-free, some of the media journalists found enough merit in the ongoing debacle to ask for his resignation.

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Has Facebook Lost Its Mojo Under The Leadership of Mark?

I am not a professional journalist; I am not among the ones who like to read their own words and see enough of credentials in their claims that have absolutely no backing of any facts or figures. I like to pen my views that could easily be proved with data and facts. I believe that by my style of writing most of you have already realised it. I am also no one to blame or bail out Mark Zuckerberg as well. So let’s evaluate the performance of Mark Zuckerberg by doing growth analysis, competitive analysis and subjective analysis altogether.

Let’s talk about the user base; Mark Zuckerberg made Facebook lucrative enough that over 2 billion new internet users have boarded the platform in the last 10 years. From just 100 million users in Q3 2008 to 2.13 billion monthly active users by the end of 2017, the growth of Facebook has been phenomenal. In 2017 alone, under the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook attracted 269 million new daily active users – the largest gain by any internet company in the aforementioned period in terms of user base.

 

Let’s talk about revenue: In 2007, Facebook posted a loss of $138 million as revenue reached just $153 million. In the last ten years, Mark Zuckerberg kept multiplying the revenue growth of Facebook every year, reaching $40.63 billion, with a jaw-dropping CAGR of 74.76%. To put things in context, Amazon’s and Google’s revenue grew with CAGR of 28.19% and 20.78% respectively during the same period.

Let’s talk about valuation: Facebook was founded in 2004, and since then, Facebook valuation kept soaring with each passing year. It took 13 years for Mark Zuckerberg and team to achieve the much-awaited revenue milestone of $500 billion. Its arch-rival Google took 17 years to reach the same valuation.

Let’s talk about branding: From being relatively unknown in 2007 to become the 8th most valuable brand in 2017, Facebook has proved its metal. In fact, in 2017, Facebook was also rated as the 2nd ‘top growing brands’, just behind Amazon – a 24-year-old company.

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Let’s talk about vision: Little over three years ago Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook could be a complete video platform by the end of 2019. By analysing the growth of digital content consumption and future landscape, it’s surprising how accurate he is with his decision. Between 2014 and 2017 the digital video consumption grew from 27 minutes a day to 47.4 minutes, which has a direct impact on the online video advertising revenue. It’s estimated that online video will account for 31% of total digital display advertising.

In the last few years, Mark Zuckerberg made few notable acquisitions, and most of these acquisitions are already bearing fruits – unlike Google. Mark has not limited its potential to short-term or immediate gains, his decision to acquire Oculus for $3 billion has proven that he is one of the early adopters of the new age technologies, and wants Facebook to be ready well in time for the next wave of a technological shift.

Let’s talk about mobile: The acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, also the launch of the lite version of the Facebook app, defines his mobile-first strategy. The exploded adoption and unparalleled growth of Instagram and WhatsApp explain Mark’s ability to peep into the future to make the right move in present time.

Right Time Mark Zuckerberg To Resign?

With great success comes great responsibility! And probably, that’s the area where Team Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg lacked. When it comes to exposing users’ data to any third party apps, arguably, he should have employed more screening and rigid processes, since the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

His silence for the first few days after the Cambridge Analytica debacle brought more damages to Facebook than one could have imagined. As we write Facebook has lost nearly $100 billion in just a few days, as valuation has tanked to $442 billion – the biggest drop in the history of Facebook. It has a direct impact on Mark Zuckerberg as his personal net asset has gone down over $10 billion – equal to the valuation of many unicorns.

Statements like ‘Facebook failed to bring value to people’s life‘ or ‘Facebook has grown too big and too dangerous ‘ fail to answer the questions raised on the leadership quality of Mark Zuckerberg. Instead, we need to be more realistic in our approach to the subject, careful in crafting our ideas and selection of words. Irony is, people, who have failed measurably or yet to achieve even 1% of what Zuckerberg has, don’t shy away from drafting strongly worded opinion bluntly criticising the fifth richest person in the world, 3rd most influential person in the world and, probably, one of the most powerful people in the world.

  • Is the time has come for Mark Zuckerberg to move on?
  • Should he resign taking all the responsibility and leaving Facebook in lurch now?

We are leaving you with these questions to know what’s your take on this. Make use of the comments section below and let’s indulge in a discussion in a way gentlemen fight.

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