Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg Preps for Congressional Spotlight

New York Times: “Ahead of Mr. Zuckerberg’s trip to Washington, Facebook has hired a team from the law firm WilmerHale as well as outside consultants to coach him on questions lawmakers may ask, and on how to pace his answers and react if interrupted, according to people close to the preparations, who would speak only anonymously because the sessions were private. Facebook has also set up mock hearings involving its communications team and outside advisers who role-play members of Congress.”

“Internal staff has pushed Mr. Zuckerberg to answer lawmakers’ questions directly, and not to appear overly defensive. Their goal is to make Mr. Zuckerberg appear as humble, agreeable and as forthright as possible.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s Ambitions Are Bigger Than You Think

Nick Bilton: “Over the years, I’ve spent some time with Zuckerberg, and I always got the feeling that he truly believed there wasn’t a problem that technology couldn’t solve… Lately, however, it appears that he has realized that there is another darker side to all of this technology.”

“Zuckerberg’s greatest challenge is that his profound wealth and success have made it far harder to understand what aggrieves most Americans. They aren’t just worried about what Trump will do to our country — or whether our planet is overheating, or if we’re playing a short-sighted game of chicken with the North Koreans, or if the Democrats (or Republicans) have any viable alternatives — but they are also worried about how they will be able to pay for their kids to go to college, or for winter clothes, or, in some cases, for the very next meal.”

“And yet, at the same time, his skills and experience have put him in a rare position to remedy so much of what ails us. As he evidenced at Harvard, Zuckerberg appears aware of these existential fears. But the big question that hangs over his head — and it’s the one that will determine not only whether he could win elected office, but also what kind of company Facebook becomes — is whether he can solve them. And if Zuckerberg’s actions say anything, that is exactly what he’s thinking about right now.”

Zuckerberg Hires a Pollster

“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have hired Democratic pollster Joel Benenson, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama and the chief strategist to Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign, as a consultant,” Politico reports.

“Bringing on Benenson is the latest sign that they’re pushing their philanthropic work more heavily into the political and policy world.”

Zuckerberg Continues His Road Trip

Wall Street Journal: “Mark Zuckerberg is trying to understand America, so he’s embarked on a journey to meet people like hockey moms and steelworkers who don’t typically cross his path. But there are rules to abide by if you are an ordinary person about to meet an extraordinary entrepreneur. Rule One: You probably won’t know Mr. Zuckerberg is coming. Rule Two: If you do know he’s coming, keep it to yourself. Rule Three: Be careful what you reveal about the meeting.”

Zuckerberg made one request of one person he met: “If there are any news reporters that call you, just make sure you tell them I’m not running for president.”

Zuckerberg Begins Nationwide Tour

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg “is on a nationwide tour that has people thinking about his political ambitions. But events on the trip are mostly private, which Facebook says encourages the people Zuckerberg is meeting with to be candid without the press watching,” Axios reports.

“The presidential election showed Zuckerberg that he doesn’t understand a lot of Facebook’s users, and this trip is a way to learn about a part of the world he’s been isolated from since at least his Harvard days. He’s already met with Facebook users who helped elect a president he’s at odds with. And while the Zuckerberg-for-president story has been overhyped, his friends think he may run for something one day, so these appearances help him connect to all types of potential voters and give him chance to get better at these sorts of appearances without the blinding glare of constant press attention.”

Is Mark Zuckerberg Planning a Political Career?

Buried deep in Facebook’s latest proxy statement is a curious note about Mark Zuckerberg’s future such as possibly serving in a “government position or office,” Forbes reports.

“The 31-year-old Facebook cofounder and CEO is the sixth-richest person in the world and leader of an unstoppable social network/mobile ad empire. But does Zuckerberg aspire to more? A potential hint of that appeared yesterday, when Facebook proposed changes to its stock structure, creating a whole new class of non-voting shares that would allow Zuckerberg to donate and invest his fortune without losing control of his company.”