Exclusive: Facebook’s Leadership Sinks Over 20 Points in Corporate Reputation Poll

By Steven Melendez | Fast Company |

Facebook’s reputation has fallen dramatically over the past few months, as the company grapples with scandals involving unauthorized data use by Cambridge Analytica, according to new data from the Harris Poll.

In an annual survey called the Reputation Quotient administered most recently in December and January, 45% of participants said Facebook had a positive reputation. That number has dropped to 35% in a new survey Harris administered from March 22 through 26, after a former Cambridge Analytica contractor told the Guardian and the New York Times about the data grab of over 50 million Facebook users.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his top-level colleagues also have taken a hit, the survey finds: The share of respondents saying Facebook had excellent leadership dropped from 45% to just 22%.

Zuckerberg recently placed full-page ads in major newspapers apologizing for the “breach of trust” that led to the ongoing scandal. Today, after reportedly resisting calls to appear before lawmakers, the chief executive said he would testify before Congress about the incident.

“Today, companies are recovering faster from crisis, when they occur (perceptually) outside the control of the C-suite,” writes John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll, in an email to Fast Company. “In the case of Facebook, the data breach caused their overall reputation to drop by 10% in just three months, but even more worrying is the decline in the public’s perception of Facebook’s leadership and trust.”

Read more at Fast Company.