With the mammoth news yesterday of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million grant to Newark schools, the billionaire's motives are being questioned.
Officially, his answer, as he put it on "Oprah" is this: "Because every child deserves a good education, and right now that's not happening... I’ve had a lot of opportunities in my life, and a lot of that comes from having gone to really good schools.”
But cynics point out that the announcement of the generous gift might deflect the critical portrayal of him in the movie "The Social Network."
In today's NPR report, branding expert Rob Frankel of Frankel & Anderson is blunt:
"This is clearly a [public relations] stunt," Frankel said. "He wants to have a philanthropic track record to counter his portrayal in the film."
Forbes weighs in about the importance of Zuckerberg's good behavior for the face of Facebook:
Concerns by activists and regulators over how the company handles personal data could derail its ultimate success, even though one million people a day sign up for the network.
But regardless of Zuckerberg's motivations, the fact is that Newark schools will receive a huge boost from his grant, as well as a matching $100 million grant from Newark Mayor Cory Booker.