He navigated the company that he founded in his college dorm room to a $104 million IPO, the biggest in the history of tech companies; then led it past one billion active users; and now he’s been named the CEO of the year at the 6th annual Crunchies: a big congratulations to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.
The award was presented earlier this evening at the Davies Symphony Hall by Mike Arrington of CrunchFund and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, before a sellout audience of 2,500, and an online audience of thousands more. Larry Page of Google was named the runner-up and the other nominees on the shortlist were Dick Costolo of Twitter, Phil Libin on Evernote and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo. A pretty strong list of tough competition.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Zuckerberg is nothing short of a tech icon. Facebook, as conceived of and led by him, has transformed how we as a culture share information about ourselves and the world.
As the site has grown, it has also taken that central premise into new dimensions — namely through the social graph and the Graph API that interlinks with so many of the services we like to use online and on mobile devices today. The growth of the company has come with a firm commitment to hacking and trying out new things all the time, which keeps things interesting.
But it has not always been plain sailing for Zuckerberg: with the IPO and subsequent life as a public company, has come increased focus on how Facebook makes money.
That’s a two-fold question: are its business models sustainable, and are its users always going to be cool with how their data gets used? (Some people, especially in Europe, are already complaining. A lot.) But even in this regard, you cannot deny that the Facebook juggernaut, as led by Zuck, has opened the door to a new kind of discourse about what it means to be a connected society.
Once again, a massive congratulations to Mark Zuckerberg.