Facebook has a talent drain problem, says management guru Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

  • Jeffrey Sonnenfeld says there seems to be a culture shift at Facebook, "where the sense of courage and creativity seems to be displaced with something that has a lot more to do with ambition and arrogance."
  • Instagram co-founders have resigned from Facebook to "explore our curiosity and creativity again."
  • While some have suggested that it isn't uncommon that founders leave a company once it is acquired, Sonnenfeld said, "Creative talent can be retained."

Facebook has a problem keeping its talent amid a culture shift at the social media giant, management expert Jeffrey Sonnenfeld told CNBC on Tuesday.

Facebook just lost two of its top executives, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The pair said they have resigned to "explore our curiosity and creativity again."

While some have suggested that it isn't uncommon for founders to leave a company once it is acquired, Sonnenfeld said, "Creative talent can be retained."

He pointed to the success of Disney keeping the talent at Lucas Films and Walmart holding onto the teams at Jet.com. He also said Apple has retained remarkable talent.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook 
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook 

Facebook has lost a number of top executives during the past year as it faced scandals like the Cambridge Analytica data breach and Russian election meddling.

Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management and a CNBC contributor, said there seems to be a culture shift at Facebook, "where the sense of courage and creativity seems to be displaced with something that has a lot more to do with ambition and arrogance."

"People are embarrassed, of course, about the reputation hits if not the undermining of democracy, the loss of privacy protection issues, and the lack of candor and transparency by both [COO] Sheryl Sandberg and [CEO] Mark Zuckerberg," he said on "Closing Bell." "Companies make mistakes but their repair job has been very disappointing."

Scott Galloway, a professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, is one of those who believes it is generally only a "matter of time" before founders leave a company that has been acquired.

"Control is really addictive," he said on "Closing Bell." "Founders are not good in bigger organizations when they are not in charge."

That said, he thinks it has to be a difficult time to be working at Facebook right now. And he certainly isn't a fan of the company's impact on the country.

"Facebook is bad for economy, bad for America, bad for the planet," he said. "But to be fair, I think Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl [Sandberg] have built a fantastic team and they've been pretty good around retaining the employees."

He also thinks the stock will continue to go up, saying the company has "constantly shown an elasticity, an ability to bounce bank."

J.P. Morgan said Tuesday that it expects Facebook shares to fall significantly in the short term because of the departure of Systrom and Krieger.

The company's dropped as much as 2.6 percent Tuesday before paring those loses and closing down just 0.3 percent.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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