Being the co-founder and CEO of a company can be a stressful job for anyone, especially if that company is a startup. You have to manage your employees, keep track of your incoming and outgoing funds, make sure your product is of high quality and hundreds of other things that are critical to running any business. This position can be even more stressful when you’re just in your early twenties, as was the case with Facebook’s CEO and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg. When Facebook first launched back in 2005, Zuckerberg was just 23 years old. He was young, full of ambition and a bit crazy. This website that he and his friends made had blossomed into one of the most popular social networking site on the entire planet. As one might expect, a 23-year-old in the position of running such a successful and popular company would be under quite a bit of stress. This was the case for Zuckerberg during the first couple of years at Facebook, and according to a newly released book, the CEO and Co-Founder got a bit out of control at times.
Noah Kagan was the 30th employee at Facebook when it was just starting to expand. Kagan joined in 2005 and was eager to be a part of the fastest growing site of the time. Kagan was only at the company for eight months, but during his time there, he held the title of Product Manager. Kagan has just released and published a new ebook of his in which he describes his time at the company when it was still just a startup. In the book, Kagan goes into detail a few times about the management style of Mark Zuckerberg, and some of the oddities that he displayed as CEO. One of the strangest bits of information to come out of this book, is the fact that Mark Zuckerberg supposedly would walk around the offices of Facebook while holding a samurai sword and fake-taunt his employees that he would chop their heads off if they were slacking on the job. In his book, Noah Kagan said that “He’d walk around with a samurai sword fake threatening to attack you for bad work. Where the hell he got that samurai sword, who the hell knows? Luckily, no employees were harmed while I was there. He’d come around and pretend to cut you joking if you take down the site he’ll chop your head off. You have to remember you have a 23-year old uber nerd running one of the fastest growing sites on the web. As mature as he could be he also was still immature.”
However, that isn’t the only instance of immature behavior from the company’s CEO. Kagan also goes on to detail that Mark Zuckerberg, while also immature, tended to have a bit of a short and hot temper. In his new ebook, Kagan recalls that he once witnessed Zuckerberg yell profanities at an engineer and then proceeded to throw water on that engineer’s computer. Kagan details this a bit more in the book, saying “While I don’t remember the feature we were working on, engineer Chris Putnam and I had spent almost a month building something we thought Mark would love. He walks to Chris’ computer and we demo the product to Mark. Mark thought it was shit. I know so because instead of giving product feedback, he screamed “this is shit — redo it!,” threw water on Chris’ computer, and walked away. All of us stood around in shock.”
Mark Zuckerberg has yet to comment on these alleged acts of immaturity and mismanagement.