Marc Andreessen’s phone may have betrayed him.
Back in April, the board of directors of social media giant Facebook was sued by stockholders after the group allowed Mark Zuckerberg to maintain control of his company, despite having sold most of his shares. This, investors said, represented a “self-interested agglomeration of power,” and certainly did not represent their own best interests. And now, a deposition at the Delaware Court of Chancery has unveiled a series of text messages exchanged between board member and Silicon Valley heavyweight Marc Andreessen and Zuckerberg, which the shareholder plaintiffs allege display “stunning” disloyalty to investors.
As per a new report from Bloomberg, venture capitalist and long-serving Facebook board member Andreessen was, according to the court filings, allegedly more concerned with keeping Zuckerberg in power than with protecting shareholders. “While on the committee, Andreessen slipped Zuckerberg information about their progress and concerns, helping Zuckerberg negotiate against them, according to court documents,” Bloomberg’s report asserts. “The documents include the transcripts of private texts between the two men, revealing the inner workings of the board of directors at a pivotal time for Facebook.”
And it gets worse — Bloomberg also reported the charge that Andreessen alerted Zuckerberg to the types of questions he would have to answer when presenting his case for keeping voting power, and even “gave Zuckerberg live updates,” with text messages like, “This line of argument is not helping. ☺,” and “NOW WE’RE COOKING WITH GAS.”
Perhaps most concerning of all, the court filing claims, “Andreessen even told Zuckerberg that he was working to protect Zuckerberg’s personal interests through the Special Committee process.”
Facebook says that it’s unconcerned about these latest developments, with a spokeswoman asserting that, “Facebook is confident that the special committee engaged in a thorough and fair process to negotiate a proposal in the best interests of Facebook and its shareholders.”