Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has insisted that he is not planning to run for President despite the rumors on the internet. He said that for now, he will continue to work on growing his company and the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) – a corporation he runs with his wife Priscilla to make investments in scientific and leadership research.
Zuckerberg did not completely rule out the possibility
Zuckerberg said, “No,” when BuzzFeed News asked about his intent to run. Zuckerberg has denied the rumors in private too, a source told BuzzFeed.
The source said, “There’s absolutely no truth to the idea that Mark is running for office and I’ve heard it directly from him.”
However, the source added that the CEO could become more politically active to further “his goals to bring greater equality and optimizing research that find cures for disease.”
According to BuzzFeed, the CEO did not rule out running for office in the future. Zuckerberg did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about whether he would explicitly rule out a run in the 2020 elections, noted BuzzFeed.
Hints that Facebook CEO could choose politics
His response to the rumors indicating that he might run for the U.S. elections in the future comes after weeks of speculation set off by many events.
Bloomberg reported in early December that the Facebook founder included a clause in the company’s stock restructuring deal about possibly running for the office.
On January 13, Vanity Fair also asked the question, “Will Mark Zuckerberg Be Our Next President?” The Vanity Fair piece commented on Zuckerberg’s possible bid, citing his pledge to visit Facebook users in 30 U.S. states as a possible indicator.
Other signs pointing to a presidential bid include hiring Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman and former Obama campaign staffer David Plouffe to work for CZI and a former White House photographer to take his Facebook profile picture, notes the Independent.
During the 2016 election cycle, Zuckerberg made headlines when conservative news outlets demanded more scrutiny of Facebook’s editorial practices in posting news updates. When members of Congress and of the conservative political elite spoke with him about the issue, Zuckerberg denied all bias against outlets like Breitbart and Red State. The CEO even closed down the trending news project, deciding to run it solely by an algorithm rather than depending on human news creators.