Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is losing support among his employees amid a series of privacy stumbles, antitrust inquires, and complaints that he did little to stop disinformation campaigns on the social network he co-founded.
Zuckerberg was ranked No. 55 on the Top CEOs in 2019 list by jobs reviews site Glassdoor, which asks employees of all companies to rate their chief executives.
It was the worst showing for Zuckerberg since Glassdoor started polling employees about their CEOs in 2013. That year, Zuckerberg was No. 1 on the list. He stayed in the top 10 through 2017, and then, last year, fell to No. 16.
This year, the top CEO on Glassdoor’s list was VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger, followed by Charles Butt, CEO of Texas grocery chain HEB, and In-N-Out Burger chief Lynsi Snyder. T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen rounded out of the top five.
Zuckerberg ended up just behind Schneider Electric CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire (No. 54) and just ahead of Sajan Pillai, chief of digital IT services company UST Global (No. 56).
Zuckerberg’s colossal drop this year was conspicuous in a list that hasn’t changed all that much over the past year. Major technology CEOs, like Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, who was No. 6 this year, still remain popular with their employees.
Glassdoor doesn’t provide a details about each CEO’s rankings, but Zuckerberg’s apparent fall is likely a result of the recent controversy surrounding his company—and his tenure.
Last year, Facebook came under fire after it was discovered that data analytics company Cambridge Analytica obtained Facebook user data to deliver political ads to Facebook users in prelude to the 2016 election. The revelation came amid widespread criticism that Facebook didn’t do enough during the 2016 Presidential election to stop Russia from using Facebook to try to sway votes.
Also last year, Facebook was attacked for the nature of posts it allowed on its service. In August, it banned conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, long after rival services did. And in November, The New York Times reported that top Facebook executives tried to cover up the Russian 2016 election scandal—a claim Facebook and Zuckerberg have denied. The Times followed that report in December with another that said Facebook shared user data with major technology companies without obtaining user consent.
The trouble continued this year, after Facebook let the New Zealand mosque shooter livestream his killing spree. Soon after, Facebook changed its policies to suspend people who share inappropriate content on the service.
Still, despite his declining approval among employees, Zuckerberg doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. He has a lock on his CEO position, by virtue of the fact that he controls a majority of shareholder votes.
Even the Glassdoor survey may not be cause for too much concern. He still had a 94% approval rating among employees.