I just got a boilerplate press release, the kind I usually delete after reading the headline. Only this unremarkable headline — “Tech’s Next Generation — 150 CEOs Gather at Nasdaq Marketsite” — has somewhat remarkable timing, given Nasdaq’s staggering botching of Facebook’s IPO. Yeah, Greifeld, that’s how you’ll get the Valley back on your side. Some party.
As we reported last week, two sources very familiar with the situation have told us that Nasdaq decided to use a totally new, untested software platform to operate one of the largest and most significant IPOs in Silicon Valley history. No one seems to know why. There’s speculation from a well-placed source that the platform prioritized very short term traders — the very people that most companies going public don’t want owning their stock.
As we wrote in our earlier piece, many of the Valley elites I’ve spoken with were horrified at the decision, as well as with CEO Robert Greifeld’s decision not to be on site in New York when the stock went live. Many have said they won’t consider listing on the Nasdaq until he is gone.
The outing this week is part of the illustrious F.ounders Conference, and I know several of the CEOs attending, like those from Uber, Prezi, Voxer, Wonga, ZocDoc, and Zeptolab. These are all pretty outspoken guys, so I’m hoping when the Nasdaq brass come to try to rub elbows with the founders that the conference is calling the “next Zuckerberg, Jobs, and Gates” someone will ask the hard question on the Valley’s mind: Why the hell would you demo a new software platform on the eve of a $95 billion IPO?If none of these put the screws to the Nasdaq higher ups, perhaps Dave Goldberg, the CEO of Survey Monkey will. He is after all married to Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.