Most of the tech giants dominating Silicon Valley are no longer spearheaded by the figureheads that founded them. Almost all of them have been replaced for various reasons, taken in new directions by the subsequent company heads. That is, all except for Facebook, which is still headed by its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Will Zuckerberg step down from his position as CEO of the company he founded anytime soon?
Will Mark Zuckerberg step down?
Zuckerberg is one of the last few founders of a big tech company who has not stepped down from his position as CEO. Jeff Bezos, founder and former CEO of Amazon, stepped down from his position as head of the company in 2021. Others, like Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, stepped down in 2019, while Bill Gates left Microsoft back in 2000. With Zuckerberg being the only one left, many are wondering when he plans to step down.
"We're seeing him start to plant the seeds," New York Times technology reporter Cecilia Kang told Yahoo! Finance. "We've got that idea from talking to people who talked to Mark directly about his real ambitions to emulate sort of the path that Bill Gates took." But when Facebook was contacted about Zuckerberg's potential leave from the company, it responded, "Mark Zuckerberg has no plans to step down."
"For Zuckerberg, there are so many problems and questions, you don’t know what is happening next. You’d probably want to hang around,” technology analyst Benedict Evans said to The Washington Post. "I think Facebook has just so many issues right now to work out," Cecilia said. "[Zuckerberg] just can't possibly step away early on."
"I also think that he's so incredibly curious about technology, and he's so incredibly competitive that he would hate to see the next thing take over Facebook," she continued. "That is going to be really hard for him to leave his day job anytime soon."
Though it looks like Zuckerberg won't be leaving his company in the near future, that doesn't mean he's not planning what he'll do once he does leave.
What could Mark Zuckerberg do after Facebook?
While the CEO may not have plans to step down from the social media giant anytime soon, it's suggested that when he does, he'll likely delve into philanthropy instead. He and his wife, Priscilla Chan, founded the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative in 2015. The organization aims to make developments in fighting disease and improving education, as well as contribute to communities in the Palo Alto region. Chan and Zuckerberg are co-CEOs of the company.
"We're already seeing that with the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative," Chan said. "He's talked to Bill Gates—who is a mentor of him—for advice." This is largely what indicates he'll take an approach post-Facebook, even though he has no immediate plans to go in that direction. At only 37, Zuckerberg could first have a long time to go at his company.