Everything at Facebook is definitely fine and nobody, least of all CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is worried at all. Because when things are fine and you are not worried the logical thing to do is to put 50 of your most-trusted staffers in a room and declare that your company is at war.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Mark Zuckerberg gathered roughly 50 of his top lieutenants earlier this year and told them that Facebook Inc. was at war and he planned to lead the company accordingly.
During times of peace, executives can move more slowly and ensure that everybody is on board with key decisions, he said during the June meeting, according to people familiar with the remarks. But with Facebook under siege from lawmakers, investors and angry users, he needed to act more decisively, the people said.
Zuckerberg’s announcement, along with other behavior, the Journal also reports, has led to increased clashes with COO Sheryl Sandberg, who reportedly feared for her job after Zuckerberg was displeased with the way Facebook handled itself in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He also reportedly clashed with Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, who left the company in September citing a search for new creative projects. Brian Acton and Jan Koum, the co-founders of WhatsApp, left amid what were apparently similarly tense relations with Zuckerberg.
The Journal’s piece comes on the heels of another deeply reported piece from the New York Times earlier this month, which detailed the chaos and dysfunction Facebook has been operating under internally for months. The piece noted that Facebook had hired Definers Public Affairs, a Republican political-consulting firm, to conduct “campaign-style opposition research,” a.k.a. publishing and widely sharing news pieces that made Facebook’s critics look bad. The piece, unsurprisingly, immediately garnered a hell of a lot of bad press for Facebook. During a meeting at Facebook with staff on Friday, a source told the Journal that Zuckerberg called this “bullshit.” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s former head of global policy and communications who remains at the company, said at this meeting that Facebook should expect more, similarly bad press in the coming weeks. Which might be the most accurate thing anybody working for Facebook has said in a very long time.