‘Cult of founders’ is a real problem in Silicon Valley: Roger McNamee

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at the International Astronautical Congress on September 29, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at the International Astronautical Congress on September 29, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia

Another Silicon Valley darling, Facebook, has also been under scrutiny recently. The social media giant and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, have been dealing with fallout over several issues, including the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and its role in the spread of misinformation during the presidential campaign.

Then, last week Facebook announced a major security breach. And Thursday, the company admitted it “made mistakes” after a top executive was seen attending Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s congressional hearing, reportedly prompting outrage from employees.

As an early investor in Google and Facebook, McNamee has seen firsthand the responsibility and importance of the company’s board and how that organization should wield its power.

“You need to have checks somewhere in the system, but increasingly Silicon Valley companies have two classes of stocks so that the founders retain control and nobody has any leverage,” he said.

And those in control are not used to having anyone criticize them, he added.

“They are not very good at hearing constructive criticism, embracing it and making the future better than the past,” he said.

2018-10-05 20:54:00

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