Discussions about whether or not 23 year-old Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg needs to step aside and let a more experienced leader take over day-to-day management of the popular social networking company have been on the rise lately.
With the company’s problems increasingly becoming obvious, I think Facebook investors would be wise to replace Zuckerberg. But then the question becomes – who is most capable of taking $15 billion worth of hot air and keeping the party going?
I decided that it was time for a tongue-in-cheek look at the matter and after careful consideration, I submit 12 candidates for the most challenging job in the world after being the next President of the United States.
Terry Semel – Former CEO, Yahoo
When Terry left Yahoo, few cried. But I believe he deserves a redemption opportunity. What better way to make the people who believe he drove Yahoo into the ground forget about the incredible amount of money Yahoo paid him than by running a company that already has a questionable financial outlook? Even if he can’t turn things around, at least he didn’t start with much.
Tom – MySpace’s First Friend
Everybody’s favorite friend on MySpace is a whole lot cooler than Zuckerberg and even though he was really a front man for MySpace, Silicon Valley could really stick it to Old Media by snatching Tom away from Rupert Murdoch.
As an added bonus, both Zuckerberg and Tom reportedly have an affinity for Asian women. Can somebody say wingmen? Saturday nights in Palo Alto would never be the same.
Eric Schmidt – CEO, Google
Eric Schmidt is Silicon Valley’s expert when it comes to making men out of boys. Recruited by young Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to lead them into manhood and to the promised land, perhaps it’s time that Schmidt look to his next project now that Page and Brin have spread their wings and soared (quite literally). Mark Zuckerberg is the best project within 25 miles of the Googleplex.
If the possibility of turning Zuckerberg into an alpha male isn’t appealing enough, Schmidt should consider that at the current pace of Facebook’s recruitment of Google employees, he’ll probably end up as a VP at Facebook within the next ten years anyway.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – Mark Zuckerberg Should-Have-Beens?
Mark Zuckerberg can right alleged wrongs by allowing Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the brothers who claim that Zuckerberg cheated them when he was hired to build a college social network they were starting, to be co-CEOs of Facebook.
Even though their business skills are as questionable as Zuckerberg’s, unlike Zuckerberg they have the look of successful businessmen and I think that should count for something.
The deal structure could be ideal: the Winklevoss brothers drop their lawsuit and Zuckerberg gets to exit stage right just as the bubble starts to deflate. He can then blame Cameron and Tyler for the downfall of Facebook. It’s a win-win if I’ve ever seen one.
Kevin Rose – Founder, Digg
Kevin Rose is The Man in the world of Web 2.0. He’s simply everywhere! Whether he’s schmoozing with other Web 2.0 stars at a launch party in San Francisco or getting cozy with Julia Allison at FOWA on South Beach, Kevin has proven that he has the social skills required to “digg” Facebook out of any future mishaps.
Jimmy Wales – Founder, Wikipedia
Critics have been quick to jump on Wales as part of his recent love-affair-gone-bad but I think they’ve missed the point: Wales just needs a bigger challenge (and a bigger bankroll) to keep him focused.
Facebook could very well be that challenge and its bank account is still swelling with Microsoft’s money (pending $200 million in planned capital expenditures).
Can you imagine what Wales could do with unlimited super poke capabilities? Look out ladies!
Mark Cuban – Billionaire
Mark Cuban is one of my favorite business personalities. He did what many other technology entrepreneurs have tried and failed to do: take a company that was overvalued on paper and turn it into a company that is overvalued by an acquirer. His sale of Broadcast.com to Yahoo in Bubble 1.0 made him a billionaire and Facebook offers him the opportunity to sell the Brooklyn Bridge for the second time. If anybody can pull it off, it’s Cuban.
Alan Greenspan – Former Chairman, United States Federal Reserve
Facebook’s Achilles heel is its inability to make money. If there’s one man who understands making money, it’s Alan Greenspan. In the opinion of some, he printed so much of it as Chairman of the Federal Reserve that he played a key role in creating the economic situation the United States is in now. Mr. Inflation teamed up with the company with the most inflated valuation in Silicon Valley is sure to be a potent combination.
Marissa Mayer – Vice President of Search Products & User Experience, Google
If Eric Schmidt isn’t willing to help turn Mark Zuckerberg into a man, another top Googler – Marissa Mayer – probably can in ways that would land Schmidt in divorce court. Facebook provides not only the perfect opportunity to advance her career, but the perfect opportunity to get back at the one that got away.
After all, Mark Zuckerberg is already on the Forbes list and he’s 10 years younger than Larry Page. With Marissa’s experience and Zuckerberg’s youth, in a decade Zuckerberg-Mayer will certainly make Page-Shuttleworth look like a welfare couple.
Henry Blodget – Former Securities Analyst
Now that his dreams of GOOG $2,000 seem to be on hold, perhaps it’s time for Blodget to create a new dream: POKE $30 billion. Since he’s barred from participating in the securities industry for the rest of his life due to a settlement over his activities in Bubble 1.0, the best seat available in Bubble 2.0 could be as CEO of Facebook.
Steve Ballmer – CEO, Microsoft
The man is insane. But many forget that insanity is usually the mark of true genius and there’s probably nobody better capable of helping Facebook spend the $240 million it received from Microsoft than the man who signed the check.
Drama 2.0 – Connoisseur
I’m not called “The Fixer” for nothing and my toolbox contains more than just screwdrivers. But I don’t come cheap and I don’t find flip flops to be acceptable workplace attire (I do make exceptions when worn with miniskirts on sunny summer days) so I may not be a good fit culturally.
If Facebook does offer me the position, however, and agrees to my terms, employees should be on alert: there will be job cuts. So try to make it into the office on time (by noon).
Who do you think should replace Mark Zuckerberg as CEO of Facebook?