Facebook investors pressurizes Mark Zuckerberg to step down as CEO: Reports
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come under the radar of the investors who want him to quit as CEO after New York Times investigation suggested that the social network hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm that "dug up dirt on its competitors".
According to a report in The Guardian on Saturday, Jonas Kron, Senior Vice President at Trillium Asset Management which owns a substantial stake in Facebook," called on Mark Zuckerberg to step down as board chairman in the wake of the report".
"Facebook is behaving like it's a special snowflake. It's not. It is a company and companies need to have a separation of chair and CEO," Jonas Kron was quoted as saying.
The New York Times report suggested that Facebook hired Definers Public Affairs, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative firm which did PR work for the social networking giant "and dug up dirt on the company's competitors and its critics".
However, Zuckerberg in a press conference denied that he knows any such firm.
"After reading the article, I got on the phone with our team and we are no longer working with this firm," he said.
Definers allegedly "encouraged the depiction of Facebook's critics as anti-Semites and had published news articles criticising Facebook's competitors".
According to TechCrunch, founded by a Republican campaign manager known for his dirt-digging prowess, Definers is far from a normal, politically neutral contractor.
Facebook said that it used the consultant Definers Public Affairs to look into the funding of "Freedom from Facebook" to demonstrate that it was not simply a spontaneous grassroots campaign, as it claimed, "but supported by a well-known critic of our company," presumably liberal financier George Soros.
"To suggest that this was an anti-Semitic attack is reprehensible and untrue," the company added.