- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 11, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is acknowledging his company’s falling stock price, but he says Facebook has overcome hurdles before.

He’s speaking to a standing-room-only audience at a tech conference in San Francisco, in his first interview since the company’s rocky initial public offering in May. Facebook Inc.’s stock has lost half its value since the IPO.

Zuckerberg says the drop “has obviously been disappointing.”

But he says the company hasn’t been an uncontroversial one, adding, “It’s not like this is the first up and down we have ever had.”

Wearing a gray T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, Zuckerberg is appearing Wednesday in a “fireside chat” at the San Francisco Disrupt conference organized by technology blog TechCrunch.

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AP Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay in New York contributed to this story.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

One question will surely be hanging over the head of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday when he gives his first interview since the company’s rocky initial public offering in May.

Facebook’s stock has lost half its value since the IPO. That’s painful for investors and employees, many of whom would probably like to ask Zuckerberg: What are you going to do about it?

Zuckerberg will appear in a “fireside chat” at the San Francisco Disrupt conference organized by technology blog TechCrunch. Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear from 5 p.m. to 5:25 p.m. Eastern time. He’ll be talking to Michael Arrington, the fiery founder of TechCrunch. Arrington, who no longer works at TechCrunch, is not known for mincing his words. He once called Arianna Huffington, who became his boss after AOL bought his blog, “a very touchy psychopath.”

If Zuckerberg is forthright in the interview about Facebook’s IPO and its stock performance “it will be a mark of his maturity,” said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

However, Pachter added that “if he is asked about the stock and the IPO and he doesn’t come clean and say `here is what we did wrong’ and here is how he’s going to fix it,” then Zuckerberg is “not ready for prime time.”

Zuckerberg likes to bring up Facebook’s core mission _ making the world more “open and connected” _ when he talks about the company. That’s a start. But he’ll have to do more than rehash sound-bites to impress investors. They are curious about how that mission makes Facebook a lasting business and how the company, created in 2004 with desktop computers and the World Wide Web in mind, will become a true mobile-first pioneer.

Among the other big questions looming over Zuckerberg and Facebook:

Story Continues →