Facebook Co-Founder Hughes Says an IPO Would Be a ‘Good Thing’

Facebook Co-Founder Hughes Says IPO Would Be a ‘Good Thing'
Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook Inc. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. co-founder Chris Hughes, a former roommate of Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, said he would like to see the social-networking site sell shares to the public.

“Having a public offering to enable a diverse group of shareholders to have a chunk of the company is a good thing,” Hughes, 27, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan.” “I’m sure an IPO will happen at some point.”

Facebook, which was unveiled in February 2004, is valued at about $43.1 billion by SharesPost Inc., an exchange for closely held companies, and has about half a billion users. An IPO would be “a step along a path in building a strong, healthy company - - from a financial perspective and from a product perspective on what it provides users,” said Hughes, who holds an undisclosed stake in Facebook.

Zuckerberg, in comments aired yesterday, said an IPO is a possibility for Facebook, without offering any details or a timetable.

“A lot of people who build startups or companies think that selling the company or going public is this end point,” Zuckerberg said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “You win when you go public. That’s just not how I see it.”

The company is likely to put off its IPO until 2012, three people familiar with the matter said in July.

Hughes’s work at Palo Alto, California-based Facebook led to the company’s communications and product management teams. He later helped run Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign on the Web. Hughes is now executive director at Jumo, a social network for philanthropy that he founded.

To contact the reporters on this story: Margaret Brennan in New York at mbrennan25@bloomberg.net; Vivek Shankar in San Francisco at vshankar3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey Taylor at jtaylor48@bloomberg.net