Here is a recipe for you to consider: The biggest Internet IPO of all time, and making it a flop. Huge insider selling. Increase the price range and increase the number of shares to be sold by insiders. Have a Nasdaq trading system breakdown because of too much volume. One man still having grasp of enough votes and supershares to do whatever he wants with or without permission from the Board of Directors. And, finally, more financial media and traditional media coverage than you can stand to hear. This was the IPO for Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB).
But a CEO wedding announcement on the following day? The answer that new shareholders should be concerned with is simple: “You knew you had a founding CEO who was able to do whatever he wants, even though he is now playing with your money. Now you know he WILL do whatever he wants whenever he wants.”
Magically announcing a wedding at what was supposed to be a graduation party is one thing. But within a day of an IPO of this magnitude? Shareholders now have every reason to be concerned. Oh, and by the way, if you do not like it your only way to make a statement is to sell your shares. You have no vote in the company at all because Zuckerberg has well over 50% of the share votes either under ownership or under control.
It is hard to imagine that Zuck would go take a three-week honeymoon, but he could do that at some point and the poor Facebook shareholders would just have to sit there and take it. Again, your only vote as a shareholder is to sell your shares. Even then, do you think a guy now worth $20 billion or so really cares?
We warned you that there were 18 big risks in chasing Facebook ahead of the IPO, and all of these risks are still present. We never thought that there were two more: 19) CEO decides to distract himself with his own marriage status as just a small deal, and 20) CEO could go take a long vacation/honeymoon immediately.
Who knows what Zuckerberg’s living situation will be now and who knows if he and his now-wife will decide to go take a great vacation and honeymoon. I would if I was in his shoes, at some point, but not the weekend after an IPO. Shareholders should care what this means, but they better remember over and over that they were warned about the corporate governance here as a controlled entity (over and over, and over).
As of 6:50 PM EST on Sunday night there have been “853,293 people like this” on Zuckerberg’s Facebook status page. If any of those people are shareholders liking this, well let’s just say that they have a conflict of interest over “liking” their own money.
Barron’s wrote about the new downside risks about Facebook shares falling if underwriters choose not to support the IPO like they did on Friday at the $38.00 share price. That was without considering the CEO would sneak out and get married the same weekend.
JON C. OGG