Since Facebook filed their registration for IPO with the SEC on February 1st, everyone has been digging into it to uncover information that was formerly very private.
One of the more interesting pieces to pry into is how much money the top guys get paid. 27 year old Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO was paid $500k in salary in 2011. However, effective 1 January 2013, his salary will be $1. Sound unfair? Of course it’s not. Based on the upper end valuation of $100 billion after the IPO, Zuckerberg will be worth $28.4 billion. This excludes performance bonuses. According to the filing, in 2011, Zuckerberg “received $220,500 for the First Half 2011 bonus, which reflected the impact of his performance in leading our product development efforts, our success in growing Facebook’s global user base and developing strong developer and commercial relationships.”
But has all this wealth changed Zuckerberg as a person? My friend Yuancheng, met Zuckerberg in Beijing last year and said he seemed like an “ordinary young person” Also David Kirkpatrick, the Writer of “The Facebook Effect” told me that Zuckerberg is a normal guy who likes doing normal things. What isn’t normal for most ‘young’ people is spending $700K flying around in a private jet, which his wealth now affords him.
Another piece of information that stuck out to me in the S-1 filing was their strategy. One point is how to grow their business by ‘Expanding our global user community…across all geographies , including relatively less-penetrated, large markets such as Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea.” There is no mention of entering China, the big fish. This is a bit strange since Kirkpatick, said that Mark himself has declared figuring out China and how to get in, his number one strategic priority.
But it would be foolish to judge the real strategy of Facebook just from the IPO filing. Facebook could very well be preparing to tap into the 513 million internet user based of China. It has been widely publicized that Zuckerberg has been learning Chinese and has visited China a few times already. It has also been rumoured that Facebook may partner with Baidu, after meeting with Robin Li several times. Although like many international company plans, China may be put in the ‘too difficult for now’ bucket until they can align everything from strategic partnerships to favourable government relations to finally make their China market entry smooth. For now, the hype of the potentially historic IPO is enough to keep the Facebook team busy (counting their money).