Originally posted on Gigaom:
As Facebook’s stock continues to slide, amid what appears to be growing skepticism about its future revenue prospects, there has been a consistent drumbeat of opinion around a single thought: Should Mark Zuckerberg be replaced as chief executive officer of the company he created? Some critics of the company — not just of its IPO, but of its advertising model and mobile strategy as well — seem to believe that Zuckerberg is “in over his hoodie,” as one popular phrase puts it. Silicon Valley (where Facebook was raised, if not actually born) has a reverence for the founder-as-CEO, at least in part because of transformational stories like the rise of Steve Jobs at Apple. But is it always best to have a founder running a gigantic public company? Or does the founder mystique contain just as much potential for disaster as it does for success?
Given the kind of hopes and dreams — in many cases, vastly over-inflated ones — that were riding on Facebook’s initial public offering, it’s probably not surprising that the company and its young CEO would be getting a storm of criticism after the fact. Based in part on its massive valuation in private markets such as SecondMarket, Facebook was expected to go public with a market value of $100 billion or more, and many were hoping it would climb skyward from there. How could it not, with close to a billion users, and engagement rates that are off the charts?