Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has bound himself to the social media company in ways that would make it virtually impossible for him to be forced out, no matter the situation.
However, a former Meta employee called Frances Haugen, a whistleblower who leaked tens of thousands of internal documents after leaving the company regarding the platform’s negative effect on teens, among other topics, says that the company would be better off without Zuckerberg at the helm, CNBC reports.
It was in November at the Web Summit conference where Haugen was questioned about her thoughts on Zuckerberg leaving the company by journalist Laurie Segall, when the issue of social media safety and its effect on teens was white-hot.
Haugen, while initially dodging the question, eventually made it clear that shareholders should have the power to choose the CEO, and added that there are probably better-qualified individuals to tackle the current challenges Meta faces, namely the ongoing safety issues, especially as they pertain to teen usage of both Facebook and Instagram.
Bluntly, Haugen told Segall of replacing Zuckerberg: “I think Facebook would be stronger with someone who was willing to focus on safety. So yes.”
As Business Insider recently reported, Haugen, during a recent Bloomberg interview, insisted that Meta “can’t recover” as long as Zuckerberg is the face of the company, adding that he’s essentially had “yes” men and women around him since founding the company at 19 years old.
“I don’t think the company can recover as long as he is the leader of it,” Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen tells Emma Barnett about Mark Zuckerberg https://t.co/krxTZNuNuL pic.twitter.com/lbBoZTGoID
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) June 5, 2022
According to Haugen’s take, she believes the Meta CEO “genuinely believes that Facebook is just a mirror” of reality, and that “you are unhappy because you can see it now.”
She has also gone on record alleging that Facebook has instigated “ethnic violence” in countries like Ethiopia, and has claimed that Zuckerberg’s platform didn’t do enough to tackle “misinformation” on the platform that eventually led to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
The whistleblower, also a data scientist, claimed that Zuckerberg is focused on using the “most dangerous version” of the site, in that the only measure of success is if what’s shown to a user, no matter their age, is whether or not it provokes a reaction, which keeps engagement time higher, on average.
According to Marketwatch, Zuckerberg made headlines last week after announcing the departure of his long-time COO, Sheryl Sandberg, and has restructured Meta so as to not have to replace her.
Analysts fear that a Meta without Sandberg, who was called the “adult in the room,” could take a downward dive now that Zuckerberg lacks a top deputy to act as a check and balance for his sometimes eccentric ideas and decisions.