Don’t hold your breath waiting for Mark Zuckerberg to resign — or be pushed out.
The Facebook co-founder and chief executive said he’s still the right man to lead the company despite its recent turmoil, on a conference call with the media on Wednesday afternoon. When asked if he’s best equipped to steer Facebook, Zuckerberg answered with a quick “yes,” before expanding.
“I think life is about learning from the mistakes and figuring out what you need to do to move forward,” said Zuckerberg. “I think the reality of a lot of this is that when you’re building something like Facebook that is unprecedented in the world, there are going to be things that you mess up. And if we’d gotten this right, we’d have messed something else up.”
The “mess up” Zuckerberg is referring to is the Cambridge Analytica data leak. It was revealed last month that 50 million users had their information unknowingly accessed by the political consulting firm in 2014 — a number the company updated on Wednesday, with up to 87 million users hit by the leak. Facebook, Zuckerberg, and the company’s stock have all taken a hit its aftermath, with users questioning the company’s protection of personal information.
“I don’t think anyone is going to be perfect, but I think what people should hold us accountable for is learning from the mistakes and continually doing better and continuing to evolve what our view of our responsibility is, and at the end of the day, whether we’re building things that people like and that make their lives better,” said Zuckerberg. “I’m the first to admit that we didn’t take a broad enough view of what our responsibilities were. But I also think it’s important to keep in mind there are billions of people that love the services we’re building.”
At a different point in the call, Zuckerberg was asked if Facebook’s board had discussed having him step down. “Not that I’m aware of,” he said. And even if that were discussed, Zuckerberg’s shares of the company make it extremely difficult to give him the boot.
Shares of Facebook ticked up 2.4 percent on Thursday morning, hitting $158.75 per share. Zuckerberg’s string of public mea culpas will roll on next week, with the chief exec heading to Washington, D.C. to testify in front of Congress.