Facebook is getting closer to its eventual IPO, and speculations are rife that the offering could value the social networking giant at $100 billion. But considering reports on privacy issues that made Mark Zuckerberg put his foot in his mouth a few times, questions over his ability to manage the $100 billion Facebook seem to be logical.
The Facebook CEO is 26 now and has contributed a great deal in the company's journey so far. However, there were occasions when his young age showed up his lackadisical approach in many ways. He has also received mixed reviews on his performance in high profile interviews. Does Zuckerberg need adult supervision, now that others' money has come into the company?
Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the Google co-founders, were also at their early age when Google's investors, John Doerr and Michael Moritz felt the need for adult supervision. The result was the appointment of Eric Schmidt as Google's co-CEO in 2001.
It won't be an element of surprise if Facebook investors also think of someone experienced to play an Eric Schmidt in Facebook. It's worth noticeable that Schmidt had contributed immensely to prepare Google for a stellar IPO.
So, who would be suitable to play the role of Mark Zuckerberg's Eric Schmidt?
Some speculate that Scott McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle in January last year, can be a good choice. After the Oracle acquisition, McNealy seems to have enough time to take up a new challenge, and there can't be a better place than Facebook.
McNealy was last seen at Verisign's celebration of 25 years after making loads of money from its dotcom registry services, in San Francisco's city hall. Although he seemed a bit bored and listless, he might get perked up by a new responsibility under his belt.
John Chambers, the CEO of troubled Cisco that gave recent earnings disapointments, may be the other choice to lead Facebook as he has been under tremondous pressure from shareholders. If he decides to quit his current position, Facebook may tap his talent.
Currently, Facebook has over 500 million users worldwide. Earlier this year, the company's valuation touched $50 billion after Goldman Sachs and other private investors poured in $1.5 billion into the company.
Since Facebook is on the verge of becoming a $100 billion company, it won't be such a bad thing if Zuck thinks about getting a mentor. But who would get along well with him?
Whoever that person might be, he has to be someone used to working with young entrepreneurs, nurturing their ideals and creativity. He will also be able to help them think about things differently and tell them when to shut up.