Mark Zuckerberg blew it in his first attempt to publicly respond to the crisis engulphing Facebook, according to Yale Senior Associate Dean Jeffrey Sonnenfeld.
“It’s terrible! Terrible!” Sonnenfeld said in an interview on CNBC.
Sonnenfeld, who founded the Chief Executive Leadership Institute at Harvard in 1988 before moving it to Yale in 2000, was highly critical of Zuckerberg’s Facebook post.
“The format was so disappointing. Just putting out 1,000 words. Where is the objective press conference where people can challenge and ask questions?” Sonnenfeld said.
Zuckerberg’s response violated “best practices” for handling corporate crises, according to Sonnenfeld.
“You can go right down the line of all the things they didn’t do that are standard best practices,” he said.
In an article written for Chief Executive prior to Zuckerberg’s Facebook post, Sonnefeld accused the company of “failing to face facts, preferring to live in a world of fiction.”
He also excoriated Zuckerberg for selling over $100 million of shares just before the crisis erupted:
Instead of getting out there and demonstrating personal accountability, Zuckerberg retreated from public discourse while selling Facebook at the rate of 228,400 shares a day. For those who say that this was required due to a pre-set plan by an SEC Rule 10 B-5 schedule to fund his charity, this is an error. Those plans can be halted at any time, especially at a time of distress, with the firm losing 12% of its value in two days!
Facebook shares rose by 0.74 percent on Wednesday.