Tag: Mark Zuckerberg

American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to Join Facebook, 1st African-American to Sit on FB’s Board of Directors

NEW YORK, NY: Kenneth I. Chenault speaks onstage at The New York Times 2017 DealBook Conference at Jazz at Lincoln Center on November 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times)

by , via usatoday.com

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook has named one of the nation’s most prominent black corporate leaders, American ExpressKenneth Chenault, to its board of directors.

The appointment, which gives the social media giant the guidance of a highly regarded finance executive and the first black director on its all-white board, was the culmination of years of recruitment efforts, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. “I’ve been trying to recruit Ken for years. He has unique expertise in areas I believe Facebook needs to learn and improve — customer service, direct commerce, and building a trusted brand,”  Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Ken also has a strong sense of social mission and the perspective that comes from running an important public company for decades.”

Chenault announced in October that he would retire as chairman and CEO of American Express on Feb. 1, capping a 16-year run.

Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg told the Congressional Black Caucus in October that the social media giant was in talks to bring aboard its first black board member but she did not disclose the person’s identity.

The striking lack of people of color in the executive suite and on the boards of Silicon Valley companies won’t come as a culture shock to Chenault, one of the longest-serving black CEOs of a major U.S. corporation and a veteran of an industry dominated by white men in its top management ranks. The appointment to the Facebook board, effective Feb. 5, comes after years of lobbying by civil rights leader Jesse Jackson to add people of color to the company’s directors.

Diversity remains a top challenge for Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies that are mostly staffed by white and Asian men. Top universities turn out black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering graduates at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them, USA TODAY research showed.

Minorities are also sharply underrepresented in non-technical jobs such as sales and administration, with African Americans faring noticeably worse than Hispanics, according to USA TODAY analysis of the employment records of Facebook, Google and Yahoo in 2014.

Women now make up 35% of Facebook’s global workforce, up from 33%, and hold 19% of technical roles, up from 17%, the Menlo Park, Calif. company said last year.

In the U.S., Facebook has brought aboard more people of color. Three percent of Facebook workers are African American, up from 2%, and 5% of them are Hispanic, up from 4%.

But Facebook fell short where the lack of diversity is most acute, in the proportion of African-American and Hispanic workers in technical roles, which has stayed flat at 1% and 3% respectively since 2014. The percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in senior leadership positions at Facebook has also remained largely unchanged.

Chenault was the second black Fortune 500 CEO to announce plans to step down in 2017, along with Xerox Corp.’s Ursula Burns. Less than 5% of the 200 largest U.S. companies are led by African Americans, according to a 2016 report from recruitment firm Spencer Stuart.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Chenault, 66, has been with American Express since 1981. He serves on the boards of IBM, Procter & Gamble and non-profit groups including the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. He’s also a philanthropist who took a lead role in raising money for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

When Chenault announced he was stepping down from American Express, Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is the largest AmEx shareholder, said in a statement that he was the “gold standard for corporate leadership and the benchmark that I measure others against.”

To read full article, go to: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2018/01/18/facebook-names-american-express-ceo-kenneth-chenault-first-african-american-all-white-board/1043015001/

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Help Fund Training and Recruiting of Software Developers in Africa

Andela launching in Kenya in 2015 (photo via http://disrupt-africa.com)
Andela launching in Kenya in 2015 (photo via http://disrupt-africa.com)

article by Anya George Tharakan via huffingtonpost.com

(Reuters) – Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy venture has made its first major investment, leading a funding round in a startup that trains and recruits software developers in Africa.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC, created by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, led a $24 million Series B funding in Andela, the startup said on Thursday.  Alphabet Inc., previously known as Google Ventures, was also part of the funding round.

Andela selects the top 1 percent of tech talent from Africa, trains them and places them in engineering organizations.  The startup, which has nearly 200 engineers currently employed by its Nigeria and Kenya offices, will use the funds to expand to a third African country by the end of 2016.

“We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela’s mission is to close that gap,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.

To read more, go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/zuckerberg-philanthropy-first-investment-africa-tech-talent-andela_us_5762ae0ce4b0df4d586f5970?ir=Black+Voices&section=us_black-voices&utm_hp_ref=black-voices&

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Reprimands Employees For Crossing Out Black Lives Matter Signs

facebook chalk wall
wall at Facebook (photo via money.cnn.com)

article by Hope King via money.cnn.com

Mark Zuckerberg has always encouraged Facebook employees to think for themselves, but one issue is trying his patience.

People have been crossing out “black lives matter” on the walls of Facebook‘s headquarters and writing “all lives matter.”

The founder and CEO addressed the issue at a company-wide Q&A session last week. But it didn’t stop. Zuckerberg wrote a strongly worded memo to employees earlier this week about “several recent instances.”

In his note, the Facebook (FBTech30) CEO seemed frustrated by the fact that the act has continued, despite making it clear in the past that it was “unacceptable.”

“I was already very disappointed by this disrespectful behavior before,” Zuckerberg wrote. “But after my communication I now consider this malicious as well …This has been a deeply hurtful and tiresome experience for the black community and really the entire Facebook community.”

#BlackLivesMatter sprung to life as a hashtag in 2012 after the death of Trayvon Martin. The phrase went viral on social media, drawing people into a conversation about police brutality and inequality, and unifying thousands across the country on these issues. Some people pushed back with the slogan “all lives matter.”

“But when someone says ALL lives matter, it can sound like that person is dismissing the specific pain behind the slogan,” CNN’s Donna Brazile wrote last year. “Those who are experiencing the pain and trauma of the black experience in this country don’t want their rallying cry to be watered down with a generic feel-good catchphrase.”

Zuckerberg gave his own interpretation of the movement: “‘Black lives matter’ doesn’t mean other lives don’t — it’s simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve.”

Some walls of Facebook’s offices are covered in whiteboards in chalkboards. Usually adorned with signs reading, “write something,” they’re covered in layers of messages, doodles and signatures from employees and visitors.

“Crossing out something means silencing speech, or that one person’s speech is more important than another’s,” Zuckerberg admonished.

A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed that the memo had been sent but would not tell CNNMoney if those responsible for the acts had been identified or disciplined.

Here’s the full text of the memo, obtained by Gizmodo:

“There have been several recent instances of people crossing out ‘black lives matter’ and writing ‘all lives matter’ on the walls at MPK.

Despite my clear communication at Q&A last week that this was unacceptable, and messages from several other leaders from across the company, this has happened again. I was already very disappointed by this disrespectful behavior before, but after my communication I now consider this malicious as well.

There are specific issues affecting the black community in the United States, coming from a history of oppression and racism. ‘Black lives matter’ doesn’t mean other lives don’t — it’s simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve.

We’ve never had rules around what people can write on our walls — we expect everybody to treat each other with respect. Regardless of the content or location, crossing out something means silencing speech, or that one person’s speech is more important than another’s. Facebook should be a service and a community where everyone is treated with respect.

This has been a deeply hurtful and tiresome experience for the black community and really the entire Facebook community, and we are now investigating the current incidents.

I hope and encourage people to participate in the Black@ town hall on 3/4 to educate themselves about what the Black Lives Matter movement is about.”

To read more, go to: http://money.cnn.com/2016/02/25/technology/mark-zuckerberg-black-lives-matter/

Cory Booker Wins Senate Primary in New Jersey

1376439431000-AP-NJ-Senate-Booker

Cory Booker moved a step closer to becoming New Jersey’s first African-American U.S. senator Tuesday when voters gave the Newark mayor a wide victory in the Democratic primary.  Booker will face Republican Steve Lonegan, former mayor of Bogota, N.J., in a special election October 16.  Turnout was low for the special election, which was necessitated by the death of Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg in June at age 89.

Booker leveraged his national name into prodigious fundraising: with the help of friends like Oprah Winfrey and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, he brought in more than $8.6 million, well ahead of his rivals. Booker defeated two members of the state’s congressional delegation, Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, as well as Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver.  “This is our victory – thank you. Please continue to run with me,” Booker tweeted to his 1.4 million Twitter followers shortly after he was declared the winner.

Booker argued that his high profile would allow him to be more effective in Washington. “I find ways to break through the noise of the country and more effectively advocate and get things done,” he told the Asbury Park Press last month.  In his victory speech in Secaucus Tuesday night, Lonegan said Booker was “anointed by Hollywood” and the candidate of “Silicon Valley moguls” who want to make him California’s third U.S. senator, the Associated press reported.

Booker, 44, was the front-runner from the moment he indicated in December that he wanted to run — even before Lautenberg had declared whether he intended to run for re-election. Lautenberg ultimately said he would not run, then died in June, setting up the special election. Booker’s choice to run for Senate disappointed Democrats who hoped he would take on popular Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who is up for re-election in November.

article by Martha T. Moore via usatoday.com