Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is pushing back against calls for him to step down as chairman and hoped to continue working with his longtime chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. Zuckerberg made the comments during a TV interview on Tuesday that addressed the controversies pertaining to the social-media giant.
In the CNN interview, Zuckerberg said stepping down as chairman in the near term is “not the plan” after some big shareholders proposed to push him out of that role following a string of management missteps.
Last week in a call with reporters, Zuckerberg rejected the shareholder proposal, saying it doesn’t benefit Facebook. According to Facebook’s latest proxy, his share of the voting power among Facebook investors was 59.9%, meaning shareholders can’t force him out, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Zuckerberg called Sandberg an “important partner” who is overseeing Facebook’s efforts to tackle some of the biggest problems the company is facing. “I hope that we work together for decades more to come,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Zuckerberg has strained relations with Sandberg in recent months as he has adopted a tougher, more assertive management style. He and Sandberg have come under fire for Facebook’s slow response to uncovering evidence of Russian manipulation during the U.S. presidential race in 2016 and stopping the spread of misinformation on the platform. They have also faced scrutiny for Facebook’s privacy practices and its role in inflaming violence in countries like Myanmar. Zuckerberg repeated earlier talking points that Facebook should have acted more quickly to detect signs of Russian manipulation.