Billionaire early Facebook investor calls for 'radical change,' but still stands by Zuckerberg

Key Points
  • Mark Zuckerberg should remain chairman and CEO of Facebook, says Jim Breyer, an early investor and former board member.
  • But Breyer also says a "radical change" is needed on how decisions are made at the social media company.
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook, holds his phone after the morning session at the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 13, 2018.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg should remain in power at Facebook, but a "radical change" is needed on how decisions are made at the social media company, an early investor and former board member said Wednesday.

"I would back and invest again and again in Mark Zuckerberg," Jim Breyer, founder and CEO of global venture capital firm Breyer Capital, said in an interview with CNBC's Deirdre Bosa. "I believe he should be the chairman and CEO but the company, to its own admission, has deeply mishandled the past 12 months."

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Facebook has seen its shares fall 26.24 percent during the past year amid scrutiny over its Cambridge Analytica scandal and disclosures of data breaches and Russian trolls, causing some to question whether Zuckerberg should step down from his role.

A Wall Street Journal report published Nov. 19 said Zuckerberg had blamed Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and her teams for many of Facebook's problem. But a day later, Zuckerberg told CNN he would not step down and praised Sandberg.

Breyer, who served on Facebook's board from 2005 to 2013 after leading the company's Series A funding round, said Zuckerberg is "ultimately responsible" for Facebook's controversies. But he added that Zuckerberg and Sandberg are the "best team" in Silicon Valley and should continue to lead Facebook.

"Leaders often mishandle certain situations," said Breyer, whose worth an estimated $2.7 billion, according to Forbes.

Breyer, speaking from the East West Tech conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China, said he first met Zuckerberg about 14 years ago, when the Facebook founder was 20 years old. Breyer currently serves on the board of directors of Blackstone and 21st Century Fox.