Zuckerberg gets so-so reviews in role as peddler of Facebook's IPO

(CBS News) NEW YORK - Facebook's IPO is the most talked-about in a decade.

This week, the company is encouraging the world's top investors to sink their money into it.

And, as the "face" of Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is leading those efforts.

But so far, he's only getting mixed reviews.

Everyone from investors to users is watching for details as Zuckerberg's notoriously private company goes public.

Facebook's "road show" kicked off Monday, with company execs trying to sell shares to investors.

No one knew whether Zuckerberg would show up,and when he did, he made quite an entrance.

In a sea of suits, Zuckerberg appeared in his trademark hoodie and, according to one report, seemed visibly nervous.

Zuckerberg takes heat for hoodie on IPO road show

Still, Facebook is confident in selling the Zuckerberg brand -- hoodies and all.

"Every product experience that you have is social. And that's all powered by Facebook," Zuckerbeg says in a video pitching the IPO.

That's the main message of the 30 minute promotional video designed to woo investors.

It shines the spotlight brightly on Zuckerberg, the wonderkid who changed the world from his Harvard dorm room.

"Zuckerberg is Facebook. Period," the video says Shawn Kravetz, founder of Esplanade Capital. " ... He has built this company, and the company is him."

But as important as Zuckerberg was to *building* Facebook, he might not be the best at selling it.

On Day 2 of Facebook's dog-and-pony show, Zuckerberg kept to smaller meetings. And that video singing his praises? The company ditched it.

"As much as people have to respect the young man, there's always going to be a healthy dose of skepticism. ... It is incredibly unusual for the CEO and founder to not to show up for this," says Shawn Kravetz, founder of Esplanade Capital. "This is the 'Big Dance."'

That "Bog Dance" is going to make Zuckerberg more powerful.

Estimates are that he could make $17.6 billion when Facebook goes public. And he'll maintain a 57 percent stake in the company meaning, in the end, the big question for investors is whether or not to trust the guy in the hoodie.

"You're buying him. You're buying his zany, wacky creativity," observes Kravetz. "And, if that comes with a hoodie instead of pinstriped suit, that's just fine by me."

It may seem a little silly to pay all this attention to whether or not Zuckerberg is wearing a hoodie, but some people say he's worn suits int he past. He wore a suit at a town hall with President Obama and on a couple of other occasions. And they're asking, if he didn't wear one to this meeting with investors, how seriously is he taking this IPO?

But, at the end of the day, this is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of an incredible company, with 900 million users. Most people are focusing on that.

To see the Rebecca Jarvis report, click on the video in the player above.

Comments

Follow Us

The Newsroom