Zuckerberg: Disappointed in stock, but better times are ahead

Mark Zuckerberg acknowledges the angst caused by the months-long slide in Facebook shares, and says his focus is on mobile and better monetization of the site.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
2 min read
Mark Zuckerberg speaks at TechCrunch Disrupt

He came. He saw. He'll have to wait until the stock market opens Wednesday to know whether he conquered.

In his first public comments about Facebook stock since the company's ill-fated May 18 initial public offering, CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the month's long slump in the company's stock price.

"The performance of the stock has obviously been disappointing," Zuckerberg said during an appearance Tuesday afternoon at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. "The commitment we've made is tomake the world more open and connected... for the long term. The next 3 to 5 years is really going to be how well we do with mobile." Although the offering was wildly successful for Facebook, which raised $10 billion from its IPO, the stock has lost more than half its value since the shares went public at $38 per share.

In a Clintonian "I feel your pain" demonstration, Zuckerberg is not selling any Facebook shares for the next 12 months. After the IPO, Zuckerberg sold about $1.1 billion worth of stock to cover his tax bills, the company said. The next time Facebook employees will be able to sell shares is Oct 29.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook had committed "a number of missteps" -- the biggest one having bet "too much on HTML5 than native" code for the mobile browser. Without getting into details, Zuckerberg said the company was working on ways to improve user engagement with the app.

Underscoring the technology shift away from desktop computers that's now underway, Zuckerberg said that he did "everything on my phone, as a lot of people do."

"I basically live on my mobile device," Zuckerberg said, adding that he wrote the founder's letter -- in the S-1 -- on his phone.

The message apparently resonated with some investors, who sent Facebook shares up more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.