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Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg walk together on Thursday at the Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference in Idaho. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg surprised a council of top Facebook executives in July 2018 by declaring: "Up until now, I’ve been a peacetime leader ... That’s going to change."

Driving the news: The account appears in a closely held book that'll be out Tuesday, "An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination," by the N.Y. Times' Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang.

The group, the authors write, "had endured eighteen months of one bad news cycle after another. They had been forced to defend Facebook to their friends, family, and angry employees. Most of them had little to do with the controversies over election disinformation and Cambridge Analytica."

  • The book says Zuckerberg had been influenced by ideas in "What You Do Is Who You Are," by Ben Horowitz — who's half of Andreessen Horowitz, the VC firm that invested early in Facebook, along with Marc Andreessen, Zuckerberg’s friend and a Facebook board member:

Horowitz argues that at various stages of development, tech companies demand two kinds of CEOs: wartime and peacetime leaders. In periods of peace, he writes, a company can focus on expanding and reinforcing its strengths. In times of war, the threats are existential, and the company has to hunker down to fight for survival.

...

From that day forward, Zuckerberg continued, he was taking on the role of wartime CEO. He would assume more direct control over all aspects of the business. He could no longer sequester himself to focus only on new products. More decisions would fall to him.

Facebook tells Axios that Zuckerberg instructed leaders they’d have to be more decisive, and would need to move forward even when there wasn't a clear consensus. His view was that it was like wartime, and he needed to run the company as a wartime CEO.

Go deeper: Read a N.Y. Times adaptation.

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Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 13, 2021 - Technology

Groups launch "How to Stop Facebook" effort

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

A coalition of nonprofits on Wednesday debuted HowToStopFacebook.org, a fresh push to encourage greater government regulation of the social networking giant aimed at forcing the company to change its business model.

Why it matters: The campaign hopes to take the outrage expressed by legislators over the revelations of whistleblower Frances Haugen and translate it into action.

Slain reporter's family asks FTC to take on Facebook over violent video

Andy Parker, father of Alison, speaking at a rally. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The family of slain journalist Alison Parker, who died in 2015, is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against Facebook for not removing a video of her death, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Facebook has faced mounting widespread scrutiny in recent weeks from lawmakers and the public, initially spurred by whistleblower accounts by former employee Frances Haugen.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

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