Mark Zuckerberg Tells EG8 Forum: No Facebook IPO Yet

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg told an audience at the EG8 Forum that the company isn't planning to go public yet.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg says the company isn’t planning to go public yet.

Zuckerberg’s “not yet” remark came at the EG8 Forum. The question of whether Facebook would go public was one of the first two posed by Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe during the session the two are appearing in.

Facebook’s CEO had met with France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy before the technology event and will meet the heads of state of all the G8 industrialized nations’ leaders tomorrow. When an audience member asked Zuckerberg what he might tell the leaders, he replied that he will reiterate the things discussed during the EG8 conference and his own session at the event.

Throughout the question-and-answer session, Zuckerberg emphasized that the larger trend isn’t necessarily social media but that the industrialized world benefits universally from people sharing online.

“Transparency makes it so that the best things can win,” like the best restaurants, he said. “Now with the Internet there’s the ability to get people’s opinions and the best things rise to the top. It makes a fairer ecosystem…. I hope this leads to better products.”

Zuckerberg extended that to movies. While films put a lot of money into Facebook advertising, no amount of spending can counteract bad reviews that spread virally, he said. By the time the film opens at the box office, people know whether it’s good or bad, and that makes it harder for movies that aren’t good to sell at the box office. This is all a good thing, the social network’s CEO argues.

“The trend of people being empowered to share things that they want is going to be the trend for the next five to ten years. We’re much closer to the beginning of that,” he said. “We’re just going to see more ways for people to keep sharing things.”

He says that he wants to see his company help enable companies that will share music and other forms of entertainment get going, but that Facebook can’t create some of the technologies for doing so itself. He explains that the social network is the platform for all of this. He expects that industries will evolve into more social enterprises.

A great question posed by a member of the audience: Does transparency on the social network hurt the sincerity of the conversation? Zuckerberg says he doesn’t understand what that query means, but that’s just a polite way of saying “no.”

An interesting personal detail emerged before the session actually got started: Zuckerberg has given pointers on fencing to Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s child.