Mark Zuckerberg knows he comes across as 'robotic'

The Facebook CEO tells NBC News he's working to improve his communications skills.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he needs to work on being a better communicator for his company.

James Martin/CNET

Mark Zuckerberg is coming clean about something many have suspected for a long time: He doesn't come across as the warmest of people when he's trying to communicate about his company. And he says he's working to change that perception, as well as his interpersonal skills.

The Facebook CEO made the admission in a wide-ranging interview with NBC  Nightly News with Lester Holt that was broadcast Monday evening. The interview comes as Facebook unveils several initiatives that show how it's preparing for election security as the race for the White House ramps up.

"Historically, I've had a very hard time expressing myself," Zuckerberg said when asked if he was the best communicator for his company. "I just come across as robotic.

"This is one of the things in growing up I need to get better at in running this company," he said.

But his public image problem isn't just his fault, he says.

"I've been in the public eye since I was 19, and a lot of my personal experience has been that people say a lot of false things about you."

Grappling with the public's image of him isn't a new challenge for Zuckerberg. In the 2010 movie The Social Network, actor Jesse Eisenberg portrayed the young Zuckerberg during Facebook's infancy. In its review of the movie, The New York Times noted that "the conspicuous paradox that The Social Network plays with is that the world's most popular social networking Web site was created by a man with excruciatingly, almost pathologically poor, people skills."