Official documents lodged in an American court have hinted that Mark Zuckerberg may consider a move into politics.
The billionaire could take two years leave from Facebook to serve “in a government position or office” without losing control of the company, according to recently unsealed court filings in a case pitting the CEO against minority investors.
The revelation, published in the Guardian, has emerged from a class-action lawsuit which shows the company’s board voted to give Mr Zuckerberg time off if he takes on a political role.
The lawsuit was first filed in April after Mr Zuckerberg proposed a corporate shake-up that would dilute the voting power of shareholders. Those bringing the action argued the move would give Mr Zuckerberg "eternal control" of the company.
Text messages highlighted in the official documents reveal discussions between Mr Zuckerberg and two members about the possible move and how to present it to shareholders.
According to the report in the Guardian, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, a prominent investor in Facebook, asked Mr Zuckerberg in a text “how to define the gov’t service thing without freaking out shareholders that you are losing commitment”.
A few weeks later he texted: “I think the biggest remaining issue is still around the government service.”
Mr Zuckerberg has always been keen to avoid any appearance of political bias. He has previously met with Republicans, Democrats and officials in the Obama administration, with much of the focus being on government surveillance and philanthropy.