A senior fellow at Harvard Business School, Bill George thinks that Mark Zuckerberg has “really lost his way” and is slowly dragging his company Meta to failure.
George made these comments while speaking to CNBC about his new book titled True North: Leading Authentically in Today’s Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition.
George, a former CEO at a medical technology company himself, has spent the last two decades of his life studying leadership failures in workplaces. His recent book is a compilation of his work, where he has found that bosses who lose sight of their values and purpose are doomed to fail.
George’s comments might find many sympathizers, but it is hard to argue with history, which tells us that Zuckerberg is the person who gave the world Facebook and kick-started the social media industry as we know it today.
Zuckerberg started Facebook as a college sophomore and has led the website into the tech giant worth $450 billion on the market today. Last year, he also led the company’s overhaul towards building the supposedly next big thing on the internet, the metaverse.
The year 2022 has not been great for the metaverse and all those who jumped in last year. Zuckerberg’s rebranded company, Meta, has spent billions of dollars on building the future that nobody seems to be excited about anymore.
The failings of Zuckerberg
In his book, George categorizes bad bosses into five categories. Unfortunately, according to the author, Zuckerberg falls into three of these categories.
The second is the category of loner boss who pushes people away as well as their advice. George states that in the early days of Facebook, Zuckerberg was more open to advice and acted upon it. This includes his decision not to sell the company to Facebook for a billion dollars as well as hire COO Sheryl Sandberg who took the company to new heights.
However, as his company has grown, Zuckerberg has stopped taking the advice, which has found his company in troubled waters over Russian interference in U.S. elections.
The last category is that of a glory seeker who puts profits over everything else. Whistleblower complaints in the past year have repeatedly raised the issue of how Facebook overlooked internal reports of how the platform was harming user health, especially teens. Under Zuckerberg’s leadership, the company chose to overlook these problems and focus on the revenue it could rake in instead.
All is not lost
George, however, says that all is not yet lost. Zuckerberg can still get things back on track. To do so, he needs to take a break from his work and reassess his purpose and values. He can then sit down with his team and recreate Meta around those principles.
The next question readers might beg to ask then is, do robots take a break?