Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday skipped a meeting with analysts and bankers at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park. In response to a question about his absence, Facebook CFO David Ebersman said Zuckerberg preferred to focus his time on developing the service rather than discussing the company's $5 billion initial public offering (IPO) with analysts, according to people familiar with the meeting cited by The Wall Street Journal. Ebersman and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg led the meeting, which also included appearances by Facebook Vice President and General Counsel Theodore Ullyot, Facebook Vice President of Engineering Mike Schroepfer, and Facebook Vice President of Product Chris Cox.
Another rumor from last week suggested Yahoo is planning major cuts to the Yahoo Research division, and both Google and Facebook are very interested in hiring them. In fact, Zuckerberg is reportedly spending time personally wooing them.
Regardless of what Zuckerberg is doing with his time, it does not surprise me that the IPO isn't his top priority. After all, back in November 2011, when asked about timing for Facebook going public, he did say: "It's — honestly, it's not something I spend a lot of time on a day-to-day basis thinking about it now." Eventually though, Zuckerberg will likely play some sort of role in selling the company's shares to investors.
Facebook originally started with six major banks as its underwriters: when the company released all its IPO numbers last month, Morgan Stanley received the coveted lead left role. "Lead left" refers to where the top underwriter's name appears on the IPO prospectus. Also on the initial list of bookrunners on the deal were J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, and Allen & Company.
Two weeks ago, Facebook doubled its credit facility to $5 billion, secured a $3 billion bridge loan, and added 25 more underwriters to its IPO filing. This brought the total number of banks to 31.
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