Mark Zuckerberg texted Priscilla Chan in a panic before Facebook’s IPO

Stress.
Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

April 2012 was a stressful time for Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook founder, dealing with Facebook’s difficult IPO, texted his then-fiance Priscilla Chan in a panic, according to new court testimony.

Everything here is going really badly. Our revenue projection has gone down so much we now think we might go public at less than $50bn if things continue,” Zuckberg texted Chan at the time, the Financial Times reported.

“Badly” would be an apt description for Facebook’s May 2012 IPO. The incredibly hyped, biggest-ever-for-2012 tech, $100 billion IPO got off to a rocky start. Trading was delayed, shares fell, and then investors sued.

A lawsuit is moving forward now, bringing Zuckerberg’s state of mind at the time to light. Investors sued Facebook, alleging that the company violated securities laws during fundraising by not disclosing that users’ move from desktop to mobile was affecting revenuesthe concern Zuckerberg outlined in his “everything is going really badly” text.

That drop in revenue was a real concern, and led Facebook to consider halting its IPO at the time. But by the scheduled May IPO date, things were improving, and Facebook decided to go ahead.

Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman all “huddled” in a New York hotel room in May while they made the decision, a lawyer said.

“IPO is on,” Zuckerberg texted Chan.

“Yay,” she said.

It’s worth noting that since then, Facebook has turned into a mobile advertising powerhouse, bringing in more than $7 billion in just the last three months of 2016.

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