Mark Zuckerberg in Congress, in Washington, on April 9, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and president of Facebook, is in the center of attention of the United States Congress on Tuesday; something unprecedented for this young 33-year-old billionaire who has always jealously guarded himself from public attention.
Described as „shy and introverted“ by social network number two, Sheryl Sandberg, since the start of the Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal, Zuckerberg had to appear on the front lines to defend the integrity of the company he created when he was alone. 19 years old, in his student room at Harvard.
It should explain how the data of at least 87 million Facebook users went to the British firm CA, which worked for the election campaign of Donald Trump in 2016.
In the first days of the case, in mid-March, he opted for silence, but was soon forced to apologize to 2,000 million users. Apologies that will have to repeat publicly before American senators, in front of those who will appear in suits and ties, abandoning their usual attire of T-shirt and jeans.
„We did not do enough to prevent these tools from being used maliciously (…) We did not have a broad enough vision of our responsibilities and that was a big mistake, it was my mistake and I’m sorry,“ he predicts, according to the text of his speech released on Monday.
It is not your first repentance. This billionaire with red curls and face still childish has admitted other errors in recent months, after the controversy that shook his company, accused of spreading misinformation and „false news“, threatening democracy, creating an alienating addiction, etc.
By force of controversy, promises and excuses, today „it looks like a man who does not know where he is going,“ says Bob Enderle, an analyst in the sector.
Creator of the success of Facebook, refusing to give up a bit of power, Zuckerberg embodies his company and therefore is the one who supports the blows, as recently illustrated the cover of the Wired magazine, which presented the young man covered with bruises, as if he had received a beating.
„I created Facebook and, in the end, I am responsible for what happens,“ he admitted in March.
Zuckerberg, who continues to dress informally despite a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine at about 64,000 million dollars, „did not address the underlying problems,“ says Wired.
Accused of reacting too late and thinking that he can fix everything without outside help, he now renews, in spite of himself, the image of an inexperienced and arrogant businessman he had been able to break in the months, to the point of seeing the press assuming presidential intentions. .
„His inexperience appears once again,“ says Enderle, estimating that he should have been helped to better handle crises.
„He is not the hero that many people see, his reputation and image are strongly affected,“ he says, adding that „if Facebook were a traditional company (…) he would have already left.“
– „Naive“ and in a hurry –
Portrait of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a photo taken in Moscow on March 22, 2018
„I think he’s sincere and motivated by his desire to get close (to people), but probably more and more frustrated by the unexpected consequences of his naive ambition and the haste with which he drives. that the best way to handle their ambition is to leave, „wrote author and journalist Devin Coldewey in TechCrunch magazine.
For many, Facebook has in some way dodged its creator, who started very young what was no more than a college photo album before finding the magic formula that would make it millionaire: the personal data of users.
It managed to turn it into an economic model of formidable efficiency, which attracts mass advertising advertisers, eager to reach users better.
But the model is fragile because it is based on trust, now undermined. Since the beginning of the entire CA case, Facebook has lost a lot in the stock market, illustrating the turmoil of investors.
Born on May 14, 1984 in the suburbs of New York, father dentist and mother psychiatrist who introduced him to computer programming at age 11, Zuckerberg then attended the prestigious Harvard University.
His first years as an entrepreneur were hectic. The CEO was accused by excompañeros of university of having robbed them the idea of Facebook, an episode narrated in the film of 2010 „The Social Network“, directed by David Fincher.
Elected „Man of the Year“ by Time magazine in 2010, he is married to Priscilla Chan, with whom he has two daughters.