Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made history on Friday Morning ringing the NASDAQ bell to open the day’s trading on the stock exchange from Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, California, just before his company’s IPO. Zuckerberg signed the NASDAQ bell’s touchscreen “To a more open and connected world” which was reflected on the Times Square.
Zuckerberg didn’t travel to New York’s Times Square for the company’s big day. He did it unconventionally like you’d expect a hacker would. He opened the bell remotely from the company’s Menlo Park Headquarters after Facebook employees had just finished a long, all-night Hackathon — their 31st. They played midnight hockey and worked on extra projects.
Just ahead of the 6:30 PST open, the company’s employees got together again in the main headquarters “Hacker Square” in front of a big stage where he rang the bell. A Nasdaq representative gave him an honorary hoodie and trophy. Facebook is the second company ever to ring in NASDAQ’s bell remotely on its IPO day. Zynga was the first back in December.
The popular social networking site would be the largest US company at its debut with a market value of $104 billion.
Standing outside his Menlo Park company headquarters, Zuckerberg was surrounded by executives and hundreds of employees as he rang the opening bell and signed on a glass podium.
He was flanked by chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, vice president of product Chris Cox and Elliot Schrage, who is Facebook’s vice president of public policy and communications.
He hugged his fellow executives after ringing the opening bell. Wearing his trademark grey hoodie, Zuckerberg also waved at the employees.
9:26am EST – The ceremony begins.
9:28am EST – Zuckerberg was flanked by COO Sheryl Sandberg, VP of Product Chris Cox, and several other employees.
9:31am EST – Zuck signed the NASDAQ Opening Bell touchscreen “To a more open and connected world”, as is now shown on the NASDAQ’s screen in Times Square
At 9:30 AM ET, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Timeline also displayed what’s bound to be a historical status update reading: “Mark Zuckerberg listed a company on NASDAQ. — with Chris Cox and 4 others.”
In fact, clever Facebook engineer actually “hacked” the NASDAQ button to post the update, goes the story told by David Garcia, a senior software engineer at Facebook, on TechCrunch.
Since the CEO was busy actually ringing the bell from Hacker Square at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Facebook figured it would post for him. The post went live just as Zuckerberg rang the NASDAQ Opening Bell.
To do so, engineers used Facebook’s Open Graph API, which lets developers create custom actions, like “read a book,” “listened to a song,” or, in this case, “listed a company.” In the future, don’t be surprised when more physical objects get hooked into Facebook.
Zuckerberg gave some brief remarks ahead of the bell opening.
He said: “I just want to say a few things, and then we’ll ring this bell and then we’ll get back to work. Right now this all seems like a big deal. Going public is an important milestone in our history. But here’s the thing: our mission isn’t to be a public company. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. All of you out there have built the largest community in the history of the world. You’ve done amazing things that we never would have dreamed of and I can’t wait to see what you’re going to be doing as we go forward. So on this special day, on behalf of everyone at Facebook, I just want to say to all the people out there who use our product, thank you.”
“Mark and Sheryl wanted to make sure it was about the team that helped grow this company,” said Bruce Aust, who is NASDAQ’s executive vice president and head of the global corporate client group. “They wanted to make it special, but they also wanted to remind everyone that this is just one day in the life in company. They wanted to say, ‘Let’s get back to work once we have the IPO opening bell. It’s a company that’s very focused on its mission.”
It has been a wonderful eight-year journey that began in Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room. But it’s the company first step in what may be a very long life. Facebook is the most anticipated IPO of the last eight years after Google. Facebook and its early shareholders are raising $16 billion today, or nearly 10 times what Google raised in its very unorthodox style IPO in 2004.
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