The 2-week period when Mark Zuckerberg didn't take any meetings shows his follow-through on his vision, Meta exec says
- In a new podcast interview, a Meta exec talked about what CEO Mark Zuckerberg is like.
- She said Facebook's pivot from desktop to mobile was an early example of his leadership and vision.
A Meta executive said in a new podcast interview that Facebook's pivot from desktop to mobile in 2012 was the first time CEO Mark Zuckerberg's leadership strength was on full display.
Nicola Mendelsohn, global head of advertising at Meta, talked to "The Diary of a CEO" about Zuckerberg's leadership and what it's like to work with her boss.
Mendelsohn called Zuckerberg "bold," "an extraordinary human being," and said she finds him "inspirational."
The first example of Zuckerberg's strong conviction she witnessed was Facebook's shift from desktop to mobile, she said.
"I think mobile is the first time that strength of leadership and that pivot really came through in the actions that he had," Mendelsohn said.
In 2012, Zuckerberg wanted to shift Facebook's users and the company's design priorities from desktop to mobile. Zuckerberg said Facebook "was built late," Mendelsohn said, "so it was built on desktop."
When Facebook's product team continued to work on its desktop site, Mendelsohn said Zuckerberg didn't have meetings for two weeks because no one on the product team had any mobile innovations to share with him.
"By being really clear as to what the expectations were, people were able to move very quickly in terms of what the deliverables, and we've seen it time and time again since then," Mendelsohn said in a nod to Meta's pivot to video, Stories, and now Reels on its platform.
Facebook's pivot to mobile came in the form of "Facebook Home," which displayed post after post in real-time, replicating the user's laptop and desktop experience onto their phone screens.
Zuckerberg told The New York Times in 2014 that 20% of the time people spent on their phones was on Facebook.
In the two-and-a-half years after Facebook's switch to mobile, the company's advertising growth was in mobile advertising, while its non-mobile advertising remained consistent. During the same amount of time, Facebook's mobile daily active users increased 34% year over year, and its mobile monthly active users grew 26% year over year.
Facebook is currently involved in another major pivot — its biggest yet. Zuckerberg pivoted Facebook to become Meta last year, a huge bet on the company's aspirations in the metaverse.
"So few leaders do something like that," Mendelsohn said. "It's one of the reasons that I love what I do is get to learn and be inspired by him."
As a leader, Mendelsohn said Zuckerberg sees things that other people don't see, and "he's always right."
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