Fortune's 'Inside Facebook' Exposes The 'Cult Of Zuck'
From the social network's bootcamps instructing engineers how to "think like Zuck" to its famed "hackathons," Facebook has always worked in a unique way, writing its own rulebook on how a company should be run.
And the leader guiding its innovative inner workings has, since its inception, been CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
By taking part in nearly every aspect of Facebook's development and encouraging employees to share ideas, he evokes a large amount of loyalty and respect -- from coders especially, Fortune reports. Helft and Hempel explain:
The cult of Zuck is downright Jobsian in its intensity. Engineers are romanced by the size and scope of his vision; for many, winning his approval is its own reward. He is less a dictator than a guru for these coders, and of course his opinion is final.
With this in mind, it's unlikely Facebook's famed "hacker way" manifesto will be phased out in favor of a more traditional company culture any time soon, even in the face of its upcoming IPO and the addition of COO Sheryl Sandberg, who doesn't seem to fit into the hacker ethic as snugly as some other employees, according to the article.
That's not to say it won't be difficult for Zuckerberg to navigate the challenges that lie ahead, though it seems as long as his strong leadership remains intact, his brainchild will safely make the jump from start-up adolescence to company adulthood. As director of engineering and longtime confidant of Zuckerberg Andrew Bosworth so gracefully put it to Fortune: "The reason Mark has final word is because he is f--king brilliant."
Despite his apparent smarts, others sitting outside of Facebook's walls are not as willing to drink the Zuckerberg Kool-Aid, precisely because he's kept control firmly in his grasp.
Zuckerberg owns nearly a third (28.4 percent) of Facebook, according to Bloomberg. And with 414 million shares and the option to buy another 120 million, Time Business reported he holds a whopping 57 percent of voting power.
With such a tight monetary hold of the company, it's no surprise that investors like the California State Teachers' Retirement System and corporate governance watchdog International Shareholder Services aren't thrilled with Zuckerberg's disproportionate ownership of Facebook, in spite of his deep, creative involvement in its development. One analyst likened Facebook's governance structure to a "dictatorship, requiring investors to surrender rights to founder Mark Zuckerberg." And the ISS likened Facebook's stock structure to an "autocratic model of governance." Zuckerberg does, after all, have the right to name his successor, even on his death bed.
Fortune made sure to address these concerns by partnering "Inside Facebook" with a short piece, entitled "To Buy or Not to Buy?" by senior editor Adam Lashinsky, which makes a good case for buying Facebook shares.