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Zuckerberg: Stock 'disappointing,' no phone or search on way

Sharon Gaudin | Sept. 12, 2012
In his first public appearance since Facebook's sluggish IPO, company co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckergerg called their stock performance "disappointing."

However, aside from Zuckerberg falling on his sword, Olds said investors and analysts want to hear what he's doing to move the company forward. While he talked a good talk about mobile, Olds said he's waiting to see how it all plays out.

"He's right that much of their future is in mobile, but the proof of how well they're doing in mobile today will be in the pudding that we'll see in their next earnings report," he added.

For now, Facebook is dealing with the fallout from its lackluster IPO.

When asked if the slumping stock price was affecting employee retention and morale, Zuckerberg, who was wearing his typical T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, responded, "Well, it doesn't help."

However, he also went on to say that this isn't the first time people have bet against the company and it probably won't be the last.

"This isn't the first up and down that Facebook has ever had," Zuckerberng added. "We go in waves. At times people think every thing we're doing is awesome and there are times when people are really pessimistic. I'd rather be in this cycle where people underestimate us. It gives us latitude to go out and make some big bets."

However, Zuckerberg was very clear that one of those big bets will not be to build a smartphone.

The CEO was repeatedly asked about the ongoing rumors that the company is building a phone and every time, he pushed it aside. "That's always been the wrong strategy for us," he said. "We'll have 950 million users soon. Let's say we built a phone, theoretically -- we're not -- but we get 10 million people to use it. That doesn't move the needle for us... The phone just doesn't make any sense."

What does Zuckerberg see as a good strategy down the road?

Search.

That's right. When asked about his interest in getting into search and how much Google's entrance into the world of social networking annoyed him, Zuckerberg didn't pull many punches. "We do on the order of a billion queries a day now and we're not even trying," he quipped. "I think there's a lot of opportunity there and we'll have to someday go after that."

Zuckerberg said he didn't have anything specific to announce about search right now but it would be an obvious thing for the company to do I the future.

 

 

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