Wearing his signature hoodie and jeans, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg rang the bell to open the Nasdaq Stock Market from the company's Menlo Park, California, headquarters Friday morning (May 18) as his company went public with the biggest ever initial public offering by a tech company. Going for $38 per share, the offering raised $16 billion for the social networking website, which is inarguably one of, if not the most important and impactful tech company for the millennial generation.
Zuckerberg has always been a natural at balancing the demands of running the world's biggest social network, which boasts more than 900 million users around the world, while himself being an example of his generation's focus on being open and forward-thinking without the pretense and show of past business leaders.
The self-made billionaire is the ultimate everyman, albeit one with a genius intellect, and it's a side of himself he showed off in earnest last year when MTV visited Facebook HQ for its special, "The Diary of Facebook."
"Facebook is a very open company. If you think about what we do, we're trying to give all these people who use our products the ability to share things with their friends and their family," Zuckerberg told MTV News. "The mission is to make the world more open and connected. So we believe that if that's what we're trying to do in the world then that's how we should run the company too."
Zuckerberg went on to describe the philosophy with which he runs Facebook, now one of the most financially valuable in the world, and it stands in diametric opposition to how we view the modern corporate executive. There are no sequestered corner offices at Facebook HQ, no CEOs sporting expensive designer suits.
"We have this really open floor plan. People are all sitting out near each other. It's easy for everyone to turn to their neighbor and start talking," the Facebook boss continued. "I have a desk out there just like everyone else. ... That kind of collaborative and connected culture is what produces the best products for the people who are going to use them."
His philosophy on how to run a modern company may ultimately change the face of business moving forward. Friday's massive IPO did many things, but one of the biggest, coming in the midst of an ongoing financial crisis created by men in suits, was to prove that the future doesn't smoke cigars in executive lounges, it wears a hoodie and sits with the engineers who make it all happen.
You can see it all for yourself as MTV re-airs "The Diary of Facebook" Saturday (May 19) at 9 a.m. the doc is also available online at MTV.com.