Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the wildly popular, newly public Facebook, Inc. has been mysteriously absent from any of the negative press since Facebook IPO’d. Aside from being named in a class action lawsuit of course, Mark Zuckerberg has been untouched by the press. Most of the blame for the debacle has fallen directly on Facebook CFO David Ebersman.
It is true that the CFO of Facebook, David Ebersman, oversaw every detail of the IPO process, it is also true that Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook and its alleged creator (according to Paul Ceglia this is not true). The buck should stop with Mark Zuckerberg and if it does not, the he needs to step up and do what CEO’s do – Lead the company and right the ship.
The only reason Mark Zuckerberg is nowhere to be found is the he is not an effective CEO, which is why he hired seasoned C-level veterans in COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Ebersman. Zuckerberg wanted to let the professionals handle the big boy work and absorb the blame for things like the botched IPO. All the while Mark Zuckerberg gets to be the chief Facebook engineer with the title CEO. Let’s not get confused and think Mark Zuckerberg is more qualified to run the company than David Ebersman, the CFO or Sheryl Sandberg, the COO. Sure Zuckerberg started the company, but that does not make him qualified as a CEO. Would a company such as Apple be more likely to hire Mark Zuckerberg as its CEO or a high level engineer? CFO David Ebersman or COO Sheryl Sandberg have more experience analyzing businesses at 30,000 feet, which is why they are both more qualified as CEO than Mark Zuckerberg. This is also the reason that David Ebersman, the Facebook CFO is taking all of the IPO debacle blame.
It might be easy to think that Mark Zuckerberg is on his honeymoon and not in the thick of things right now, but he is the CEO and should start acting like one. However, I believe the experience of getting drilled by Wall Street analysts prior to the IPO on the Facebook roadshow left Mark Zuckerberg with the realization that his business acumen is not on the level it needs to be in order to weather company-wide storms. In no way should the CFO, David Ebersman, be absolved of any blame, but lets be sure to place the blame in all the appropriate places and not just scapegoat the CFO because he handled the process.
Facebook and its CFO David Ebersman had initially decided to sell 337 million shares of the company. However, about a week before the IPO, the Wall Street fat cats at Morgan Stanley smelled blood in the water and convinced David Ebersman that they needed to issue an additional 84 million shares, bringing the total offering to 421 million shares. That does count the additional shares that were set aside (some 60 million shares) to cover the anticipated excess demand (HAHAHAHA).
Why this happened is the true question. The prevailing theory is that David Ebersman, being the ever omnipotent CFO of Facebook realized that offering more shares for sale would allow him to appease some of the early investors in the company and prevent an exodus later on. This is a great story, it has a hero (Ebersman), a villain (greedy early investors), saves Morgan Stanley (and all other things Wall Street for that matter) unneeded negative attention – this allows the anger to subside and keep everyone out litigation to as much of an extent as possible. But really, by now we should not fall for the same old Wall Street tricks.
The more likely scenario is that because the Facebook IPO was over-hyped by the media and certain segments of the investing world, Morgan Stanley pressured the Facebook CFO into to increasing the issuance so they could pocket more money. And the most ironic part is all of the hype was probably generated through back channel communication initiated by Morgan Stanley. Essentially what happens is that Morgan Stanley plays both sides of the game, hoping for a certain synergy that will allow them to make as much money as possible but in this particular instance the firecracker exploded in the palm of Morgan Stanley and hopefully absolving Facebook CFO David Ebersman of any wrongdoing or at the very least incompetence.
Why is the blame floating around blaming Facebook CFO David Ebersman for the “botched” IPO? I am assuming that by botched they mean the stock price did not triple on opening day? It seems to me that maybe the stock was appropriately priced and all of this fantastical negativity is causing the stock to drop. The CFO should not be blamed because investors did not triple their investment on one day. Although David Ebersman did spent the better part of the last year planning every detail of the IPO does not mean he needs to be blamed for a perceived injustice. The only tangible problems that occurred were with the NASDAQ processing the orders – hardly a direct cause-effect relationship exists between Facebook CFO David Ebersman and the circumstances surrounding inefficient order processing. Sure the additional shares added to the IPO at the last minute might seem troublesome but the purpose of that was to lessen the madness of initial investors bailing on the Facebook stake down the line – do you mean that the CFO actually has the long term vision and financial health of Facebook at the top of his priority list??
To that point, if Facebook’s CFO David Ebersman (who by the way is a shareholder in the company), was acting in the best interests of the long term viability of the company then yes there was an injustice that occurred on May 18th, 2012 – that injustice is that the Ole Boys Club of insiders and institutional investors who get treated better than any of us mere mortals did not receive the luxury of making Hundreds of Percentage points on one day – we better warn Obama, the Earth might stop rotating as well.
Let us reserve judgement on David Ebersman, the Facebook CFO has not run this company into the ground (yet?) and surely he has at least kept the company out of any significant accounting “improprieties” – the same of which can not be said for this man….
In case you are wondering, that is the CFO of Facebook’s BFF Zynga and his name is Dave Wehner (pronounced WEE-ner?). Although not as significant as Enron or Worldcom, the Zynga accounting “saga” should really be the benchmark for a Silicon Valley CFO making less than thorough pre-IPO decisions. Nothing that David Ebersman CFO of Facebook did could be considered a capital offense and as such we should reserve judgement on Mr. Ebersman – at least until which time that the lawsuit brought by Edward Childs of Pennsylvania concludes. Mr. Childs is the astute investor who splurged on 1,000 shares of Facebook and then proceeded to file a lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook and David Ebersman CFO of Facebook (among others), presumably after buying high and selling low. At least Mr. Childs is showing that even a small investor has a voice, even if it is only a 0.00004% voice.
Thanks to the valiant efforts of the minions at www.davidebersman.com there is finally a David Ebersman wiki or the start of one at least. We need more information about David Ebersman’s wiki page so if you have anything to contribute, head to the link below and submit some information:
Unfortunately, there is not an abundance of information regarding Facebook CFO David Ebersman and his personal life. Since the Facebook IPO, searches for the Facebook CFO David Ebersman have increased and the amount of information regarding the Chief Financial Officer for Facebook is still rather scarce, hopefully the David Ebersman wiki page can help change that.
Assuming our calculation of Facebook CFO David Ebersman’s worth are correct, at the end of trading today he would be worth about $467 million on paper, just in Facebook stock after its IPO last week. With that many benjamins, David Ebersman would be able to buy just about anything he could imagine. Here is a list of some of the items (and quantity) that Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman would be able to afford once his entire position in FB is realized:
2012 Lamborghini Aventador @ $387,000 – David Ebersman can afford 1,205 of these.
Priscilla Chan-Zuckerberg – David Ebersman probably has enough to afford her but we cannot be sure (we do know that everyone has a price).
SpaceX flights into lower orbit of Earth @ $200,000 – David Ebersman can book this flight 2,331 times.
2000 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut Rose @ $444 each – Facebook’s CFO can purchase 1,050,395 bottles (in other words, the nightly supply of Cristal for Puff Daddy or P. Daddy or P. Diddy or D. Piffy or whatever this week’s nom de guerre is for Sean Combs).
Larry Ellison’s former 453 foot yacht, Rising Sun, at a cost of $200 million – Not sure why David Ebersman would purchase this yacht but in case he was inclined, he could afford it.
Apple’s iPad3 @ $499 – David Ebersman could afford 932,750 of these, even though he would be buying the tricked out model, not the poor man’s base model.
Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencils @ $0.33 a piece – David Ebersman could purchase 1,409,698,887 pencils – effectively eliminating the publicly available supply of #2 pencils and thus every teacher’s requirement of their usage (this would be the humanitarian thing do – forget pledging to give away your fortune David, help the children).
Alligator Floats @ $8.99 each – the Facebook CFO could throw a crazy pool party by purchasing some 51,877,128 of these childhood favorites.
David Ebersman, Facebook CFO could also replenish 44.6% of the decline in Zynga’s (ZNGA) Market Cap since the Facebook IPO.
We are hoping that David Ebersman will get some exciting ideas of how to spend his wealth and any of your suggestions are most welcome!!
David Ebersman’s wife is Michelle Margolis Ebersman. Per her Facebook picture, Michelle Ebersman (David Ebersman’s wife) has 3 children, assumingly all with David Ebersman. David Ebersman tends to stay out of the Facebook limelight and all of the potential notoriety that comes along with being the CFO of a newly public company (thanks to the May 18th IPO). During our research on Michelle Margolis Ebersman (wife of David Ebersman, Facebook CFO) we were able to find the following information:
Michelle Ebersman was active in raising money for a Leukemia and Lymphoma fundraiser in March of 2012 (and maintains an account on causes.com at causes.com/profiles/113462448).
Michelle Ebersman’s father Sydney Kossen died at the age of 93 in September 2009 (http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/39854/deaths33).
Michelle Ebersman also seems to be an active member of the Bay Area Siberian Husky Club (BASH) on Facebook.
Michelle Ebersman, Facebook CFO David Ebersman’s wife also enjoys the Navy, Lace Dress worn by Emily Van Camp in this facebook post:
According to Facebook posts the wife of Facebook CFO David Ebersman, Michelle Margolis Ebersman, truly believes that Jessica Simpson looks better with short, naturally colored hair (not sure I agree – Jessica Simpson was still good looking when she was fat and pregnant, the same cannot be said for all CFO’s wives).
Outside of the above statements about Facebook CFO David Ebersman’s wife Michelle Margolis Ebersman, there is not much information to be found. If anyone has any other information about Michelle Margolis Ebersman and wishes to share, please post your comments so we can continue building knowledge of the wife of Facebook CFO David Ebersman.
Tomorrow is a big day for all the stakeholders in Facebook as the Facebook IPO is finally upon us. Friday May 18, 2012 is when they will learn the fate of just how high their net worth is going to climb thanks to the largest Tech IPO in history. I can only imagine the excitement running through everyone today as they get to see their value tomorrow when the Facebook IPO finally happens. If it were me, the party would probably start tonight and continue right on through the trading day tomorrow and culminating with an extended rager right through the weekend. Now I am sure most people will say that they are going to work on Monday but I am not sure I would, $50 million?? why show up to work, sell out and retire on a warm island somewhere. David Ebersman, Sheryl Sandberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Mark Zuckerberg, even the recently demonized Eduardo Saverin (and his tax skirting skills) are all due to make out pretty well tomorrow.
Even the various investors in Facebook; Peter Thiel, Accel Partners, Microsoft, Digital Sky Technologies, et al will have nice windfalls tomorrow due to the Facebook IPO. I bet somewhere, even this guy is wishing he had more proof in his lawsuit:
That man is Paul Ceglia, the Wellsville, NY resident who has been suing Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg for years claiming he contracted Zuckerberg to build Facebook. The litigation is still ongoing but seems likes Facebook will come out a winner, which is a shame for Mr. Ceglia as he is going to miss out on BILLIONS of dollars on the Facebook IPO. At least he has a crappy bike and broken push mower to keep him company.
According to my convoluted calculations there are somewhere around 2,513,311,151 shares of Facebook that exist. Of those 2.5 billion or so shares, Facebook CFO David Ebersman owns 2,174,999 shares with another 7,469,424 in restricted stock grants. David Ebersman also holds an additional 2,025,000 exercisable options and 2,475,000 in non-exercisable options. This means that the CFO of Facebook, David Ebersman has a total potential position of 14,144,423 shares or 0.56% of the company. With a potential valuation of $100 billion, David Ebersman’s position in Facebook will likely be worth around $560 million. Expect to see a smile like this when Facebook brass is ringing the closing bell on IPO day….
What went wrong during the Facebook roadshow? Mark Zuckerberg showing up in a hoodie and jeans did not help his image with the stuffy suits on Wall Street which is why he probably should have turned the proceedings over to David Ebersman, CFO of Facebook and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. Facebook played a 30 minute video for the investors in New York and did not leave very much time for questions – the piece that annoyed the New York investors most. But Facebook made sure to make changes before its next stop.
Finally, when the roadshow hit Boston, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg turned the keys over to his CFO, David Ebersman and COO, Sheryl Sandberg. They also eliminated the monotonous presentation video and allowed investors to grill the real experts of the business (Ebersman & Sandberg). Although Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, he is hardly an expert in the business world which is why the strategy of letting David Ebersman be out in front for the company’s business side of the meetings.
The Palo Alto stop on the roadshow is not worth discussing much because of the home field advantage that Zuckerberg, Ebersman, and Sandberg had.
The Facebook roadshow had many detractors in Boston and New York, regardless of the changes that were made going into the Boston meeting. As is usually the case, Facebook cannot make everyone happy and everything Facebook does is put under a microscope. All of the added scrutiny is deserved for the largest ever IPO as investors want to feel comfortable about their future investment. If the roadshow scrutiny is at all indicative of how the public views Facebook as a public company, then David Ebersman, the CFO of Facebook should be facing a tough road ahead as the face of the business side of Facebook.