Cripes, this Facebook IPO thing has people going bonkers so we figured digging up a little relevant information for you all was in order. Most of you probably knew that Ernst & Young was the auditor of Zuckerberg's playland but you probably aren't yet clued in to the members of the audit committee that E&Y will be kowtowing to. The S-1 has the bios in full but we'll give you the quick and dirty here.
Marc L. Andreessen – Remember Netscape Navigator, that browser you used in circa mid-90s? Yeah, this guy co-founded that company that created it. After that he was CTO of AOL long before it was behemoth media company. He then founded Opsware (fka Loudcloud) that was purchased by HP in 2007. Nowadays, he's he's a big venture capitalist (obviously), having founded Andreessen Horwitz (who just doubled their assets) and has provided seed money to companies like LinkedIn and Twitter but also getting in early with Groupon, Skype and Zynga.
Erskine B. Bowles (Chairman) – He's the "Bowles" in Bowles Simpson, as in the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and was President Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1996 to 1998. He began his career at Morgan Stanley and sits on their Board of Directors (probably explains their selection as lead underwriter). He was a founder of Bowles Hollowell Connor & Co., a mid-market investment investment bank that was purchased by First Union in the late 90s and has been an adviser to several private investment/venture capital firms including Kitty Hawk Capital (founder), Carousel Capital, Forstmann Little & Co. and BDT Capital Partners. In short, Bowles is a heavy hitter.
Peter A. Thiel – Thiel was one of the early investors in Facebook, along with Sean Parker. He started his career at Sullivan & Cromwell and also worked at Credit Suisse prior but hit it big with PayPal. So, that's pretty good. He is a founder of…er…Founders Fund, a VC firm that he (sigh) founded with Sean Parker (Facebook's first President…Justin Timberlake, if that helps you). Thiel is also president of Clairum Capital Management, a hedge fund that hasn't had the best of luck but, hey, you can't win them all.
So, unless like your audit committees stocked to the brim with auditor/accountant types, this seems like a pretty solid group. If you're still skeptical, tell us why below.
And of course if you want more, more, MORE! Facebook, you can read the S-1 for yourself, Matt Levine's post at Dealbreaker is excellent or go to the front page of the Wall Street Journal where the projectile vomit of FB-related articles is quite frightening. Like away.