Today Facebook announced that Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, the previous CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is leaving the company’s board of directors and no more a part of it, effective from October 30, 2019.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, and CEO shares his remarks on this occasion that,
“Sue has been a wonderful and thoughtful voice on the board for six years, and I’m personally grateful to her for everything she has done for this company.”
Dr. Desmond-Hellmann became a member of Facebook’s board in March 2013. She has served as Leading Independent Director from June 2015.
In the letter written to Mark Zuckerberg elaborating on her stepping down reasons, she said that she is still positive about the Facebook mission, which is to build a strong networking community worldwide. That is why Facebook’s Shareholders need a Board of Directors that is zealous, and fully engaged to make it happen. It also includes facing and tackling critical issues challenging Facebook from time to time.
But unfortunately, this requires an even more dedicated CEO role, which is probably not possible right now, since her own health, and personal commitments are not aligning perfectly to give her energy to serve the role. That is why she took this decision to step down and let a more committed person take up this role that can tackle the growing challenge and increased responsibility every hour. She wishes the whole management team the very best of luck for the future.
It is expected from Facebook’s independent directors to find a replacement Lead Independent Director in a couple of months. The board’s Compensation & Governance Committee will provide assistance in this process to recruit the right person. Also, the Board of Directors is now expanding the committee’s charter to integrate a director that will empower the committee in order to nominate the directorial candidates in the future.
“Mark Zuckerberg, Peggy Alford, Senior Vice President, Core Markets, PayPal Holdings, Inc.
Marc L. Andreessen, Co-founder, and General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz
Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and Managing Director, General Catalyst
Sheryl K. Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook
Peter A. Thiel, Co-founder, and Partner, Founders Fund
Jeffrey D. Zients, CEO, The Cranemere Group”