Facebook Case Study

Topics: Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Leadership Pages: 5 (1873 words) Published: June 21, 2013
He was dazed and confused, but now he is high-spirited and vigorous. Mark Zuckerberg, the 28-year-old CEO of the Facebook, proved a variety of possibilities in the Internet era by his own way. How did he do this? What made Zuckerberg so successful? First, he was full of confidence. In Chung (2012)’s article, Mark tried to explain his landlord Judy Fusco that what the Facebook is. “He said they were going to build a network that would change the world.” At that time, Judy was impressed by Mark’s confidence. Second, Mark was creative. Nathaniel Popper (2011) once interviewed Mark’s father about Mark’s anecdotes. “He was bored with his schoolwork,” the elder Zuckerberg said. And he let young Mark create a primitive instant messaging system to enable people in the dental office to communicate through computer. Young Mark finished it successfully. This may have laid the ground for Mark to throw himself into the IT area. There is an old saying “One’s character at three years old seals his fate.” People could find some clues that Mark Zuckerberg would become an extraordinary leader from above events. In addition, after his success of the Facebook, how did he approach his role as such a huge company’s leader? After the success of the Facebook, people began to have interest in him. For a while, Mark was regarded as the next Steve Jobs because they had similar life experience and characters. For example, they both started their own business at twenty years old. Steve Jobs started Apple in the garage and Mark started Facebook in Harvard’s dormitory. They were all “Dictator” in their companies. In addition, in Alex Sherman (2012)’s article, Gamco Investors Inc.’s Larry Haverty, a portfolio manager, gave his opinion on Mark’s role in the Facebook. He stated that “Facebook Inc.’s governance structure resembles a dictatorship, requiring investors to surrender rights to founder Mark Zuckerberg”. For instance, Mark now controls 56.9% of voting power at Facebook and he also can decide his successor by himself. Moreover, most co-founders have left the company. One of the co-founder Chris Hughes said that it was challenging to work with Mark, and that it is better to be his friend than to work with him. Therefore, Mark was not a perfect CEO. He has two strong basic personal skills: technical and conceptual, as described Northouse (2013)’s book (p. 44). However, he still needs to improve his human skills if he wanted to be an effective leader. Northhouse (2013) stated that human skills are the abilities of working effectively with team members and achieve the organization’s goal (p. 44). As a CEO, Mark had strong conceptual skill. He knew exactly what he wanted and what Facebook’s mission was. For example, some investors were worried about Facebook’s performance because Facebook ignored the prospect of mobile advertising, which would have great impact on the future of company. Mark admitted his mistake openly and changed his company’s strategy on mobile advertising. Then Mark and his company began to pay more attention to this area. They released several mobile advertising applications. As a result, they had successfully turned the situation around. Rusli (2013) said in his article of the Wall Street journal that Facebook posted a 40% fourth-quarter revenue jump to $1.59 billion as it ramped up its mobile business. Mark had achieved his commitment in mobile business by his courage of admitting mistakes and his ability to make changes in strategies. On the other hand, there was a period when Mark neglected the importance of human skills. As a result, his “employees began grumbling about the need for a professional CEO” (Henry, 2012). Fortunately, Mark soon realized the problem and took actions to deal with it. First, he began to hold more one-on-one meeting with his senior team. Second, he sought experts to help him operate the company. He hired Sheryl Sandberg, former vice president of Google,...
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