- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

Mark Zuckerberg’s “Please resign” email

11th May, 2023

Mark Zuckerberg’s “Please resign” email

Welcome to my new obsession…


…and maybe yours now too: Internal Tech Emails.


It’s a site dedicated to internal tech industry emails that have surfaced in public records.


And it’s as addictive as Nutella laced with nicotine.


Take this email from Mark Zuckerberg from 2010:


Subject: Please Resign
From: Mark Zuckerberg
To: Facebook staff
Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 11:44am


What a subject line! It must have had employees spitting their coffee over their keyboards in shock.


Zuck goes on to rant about false leaks to the press that have caused him and Facebook some serious headaches:


Hey everyone,

Lots of you saw the TechCrunch story over the weekend claiming that we’re building a mobile phone. We’re not building a phone and I spoke at length at the Q&A on Friday about what we’re actually doing—building ways to make all phones and apps more social.

It is frustrating and destructive that anyone here thought it was okay to say this to anyone outside the company. This was an act of betrayal.


To say he’s taking it personally is an understatement. A few lines later he goes on to say:


So I’m asking whoever leaked this to resign immediately. If you believe that it’s ever appropriate to leak internal information, you should leave. If you don’t resign, we will almost certainly find out who you are anyway.


The tone reminds me of a headteacher telling the whole school off because one pupil set fire to the bins in the toilet block.


99% of the kids are just rolling their eyes, while the criminal doesn’t give a damn as he knows he won’t be found out (or doesn’t care if he does).


‘We will almost certainly find out who you are’ is laughable.


Now of course it’s got to be frustrating and disappointing when your staff undermine you.


But the whole email lacks empathy.


And as for the subject line? Downright cruel in my book (and Cry Wolf tactics rarely work).


Over the coming few weeks, I’ll be writing a lot about Email Empathy.


What it is and how you can use it to better influence and engage other people.


In the meantime, what did you think of Zuck’s email?


(You can read the whole thing here)

University of Cambridge


- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

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