When Facebook’s IPO goes into full swing next week, the company is expected to be valued at around US$100-billion. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg meanwhile is set to walk away with a valuation of around US$25-billion.
That’s a large number, but it could’ve been a lot smaller if Facebook hadn’t made what may turn out to be one of the best dodge’s in tech history. Back in 2006, Yahoo! tried to buy the company for US$1-billion. Today Yahoo! is valued at around US$18.5-billion.
Yup that’s right, in a week’s time Zuckerberg will be worth more than Yahoo!.
When Facebook’s negotiations with Yahoo! fell apart, it was also being courted by Microsoft and Viacom.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg’s behavior at the time raised some eyes among the tech giants:
During one series of talks with Microsoft, Facebook executives told their Microsoft peers they couldn’t do an 8 a.m. conference call because the company’s 22-year-old founder and chief executive, Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, wouldn’t be awake, says a person familiar with the talks. Microsoft executives were incredulous. […]
At one point in the Yahoo negotiations, the talks extended into the weekend, says a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Zuckerberg, this account continues, said he couldn’t take part because his girlfriend was in town. Others pointed out they were closing in on a billion-dollar deal. Mr. Zuckerberg said it didn’t matter: his cellphone would be off, this person says.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, the US government is set to walk away with a fair chunk of that US$25-billion: US$903-million to be precise.