Mark Zuckerberg told employees that he would have been fired several times over if it weren't for his total control of Facebook

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Mark Zuckerberg told employees that he would have been fired several times over if it weren't for his total control of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg

Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Facebook CEO and chairman Mark Zuckerberg.

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Facebook CEO and chairman Mark Zuckerberg told employees he would have been fired from Facebook multiple times, were it not for his total control over the company, according to audio recordings obtained by Casey Newton at The Verge from two internal meetings held with employees in July.

"So one of the things that I've been lucky about in building this company is, you know, I kind of have voting control of the company, and that's something I focused on early on," Zuckerberg - who holds 60% voting power over Facebook's board - told employees. "And it was important because, without that, there were several points where I would've been fired."

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Zuckerberg gave the example of when, in 2006, he decided to pass on Yahoo's proposal to buy Facebook for $1 billion. At the time, Facebook had 10 million users compared to Myspace's 100 million, and was about to bet the business on News Feed, which was as-yet unproven as a product.

Zuckerberg recounted that his decision not to sell upset the board and led to most of his management team quitting.

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"So once you can get through that, if you're like - when you're like 21 or 22 and all these experienced people around you say that you're going to regret the decision that you're making for the rest of your life, and they all quit and walk out and then you basically have no team and you get through that, that leaves you with a lot of confidence that you - that you can make long-term decisions and that they can work out over time," Zuckerberg said, per the audio.

"I am lucky because of the structure that we have. I think some people don't have the flexibility to focus on what they think is right over the long term because there really are near-term constraints, " he continued.

He also said he might have been fired in 2018, when the company had a disastrous earnings report that shaved over $100 billion off its market cap - which he attributed in the audio to his decision to focus Facebook more on connecting with friends and family and less on viral videos and stories, "among a number of other reasons."

"So again, would I've been able to do that if I didn't control the company? I don't know. maybe I would've been fired but...Over the long term, it really is profitable to do the right thing," Zuckerberg said.

Read the full transcript at the Verge here>>

Jake Kanter contributed to this report.

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