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Facebook CEO faces ire over slumping stock at shareholder meeting

June 11, 2013|By Jessica Guynn
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press )

SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg fielded such a litany of questions and complaints during the company's shareholder meeting Tuesday that he conceded the slumping stock price was "kind of the theme of the meeting."

The shareholder meeting was Facebook's first since its rocky initial public offering in May of last year.

Several of the investors who stepped forward to ask questions during the meeting held at a hotel in Millbrae, Calif., wanted Zuckerberg to address the nearly 40% decline in the stock’s value since its debut.

Nearly all had a common refrain of having bought the stock at high prices only to have hopes dashed. Shares of Facebook have never closed above their offering price of $38, packing the room with a lot of pent-up frustration.

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Even before the question-and-answer session began, Zuckerberg expressed his own frustration with the prolonged stock slump.

"We're disappointed with the performance of the stock over the past year," he said.

The 29-year-old Facebook founder said again and again that he fervently believes Facebook is on the right track.

With more than 1 billion users, Facebook was the first U.S. company to make its publicly traded debut with a value of more than $100 billion.

At the close of the shareholder meeting, Zuckerberg was handed a reprieve from all the collective chiding.

"I'm not asking a question. I'm telling you: You are wonderful," one elderly investor said.

Zuckerberg thanked her.

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