In CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s first public appearance since Facebook’s IPO on May 18 — with the stock losing roughly half its value, employees selling options, and many questions about the company’s core business model and whether it will be able to leverage its social graph as an advertising vehicle — he made a big push to position the company as a magnet for more talent.
“I think it’s a good time for people to join and it’s a great time to stick around,” he told a packed house at TechCrunch Disrupt as he was interviewed by Mike Arrington.
For a while now, Facebook has been seen as a major recruitment magnet, although there were questions about whether the company would see a mass exodus post-IPO. There have been some key executive departures, and some of Zuckerberg’s comments today may not be about employees leaving in droves, but it does point to how important keeping and recruiting talent remains for the company.
He himself has pledged to hold on to his shares in Facebook for a minimum of a year and is encouraging his employees to do the same (although there will be another big release of options coming soon).
In the meantime, he says Facebook is pushing products that boost morale and make it more of a magnet for existing Facebookers and would-be hires. The centerpiece of this is not so much code for the basic platform, but apps that run on it.
“Launching apps drives morale inside and outside the company,” he said. “People come and say, ‘I want to work at this place because you built that.’”
He says that everyone in the company is responsible for their own lines of code — including himself.
Zuckerberg is also trying to give a “Building a mission and building a business goes hand in hand,” he said. “The primary thing that we are doing is the mission.”
Check out our full coverage of Mark Zuckerberg’s chat at Disrupt SF below.