Lawsuit: Texts between Mark Zuckerberg and Marc Andreessen say the Facebook founder may want to go into government

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has considered plans to go into government, according to court documents seen by Bloomberg.

The documents were filed as part of a shareholder lawsuit that alleges the board of Facebook failed to represent the best interests or holders of Facebook's common stock.

The lawsuit focuses on a change to Facebook's stock structure earlier this year. Zuckerberg currently holds a majority share of voting Facebook stock, giving him control of the company. But he wanted to be able to sell this off to fund his new philanthropy efforts — the "Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative" — without losing this control. (The Financial Times reports that the plaintiffs are accusing Zuckerberg of a "self-interested agglomeration of power.")

So Zuckerberg proposed creating a new class of shares for himself that would let that happen, and three board members were placed on a special committee to represent shareholders in the discussions. They were tasked with deciding whether Zuckerberg's request to sell stock but maintain control was fair to other shareholders. The committee eventually agreed to Zuckerberg's plan. The suit alleges the plan diluted other shareholders' votes over the stock.

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A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment to Business Insider. A company rep told Bloomberg that "Facebook is confident that the special committee engaged in a thorough and fair process to negotiate a proposal in the best interests of Facebook and its shareholders."

One of the board members on the committee was Marc Andreessen, the Netscape cofounder-turned-Silicon Valley investor, who now runs Andreessen Horowitz, the VC fund.

Andreessen is specifically accused of a conflict of interest because he allegedly communicated with Zuckerberg repeatedly while serving on the committee that was supposed to be making an independent decision about the stock.

Some of the texts sent between Andreessen and Zuckerberg have been made public in court documents — providing unusual insight into the inner workings of the social network's leadership.

One of Zuckerberg's motivations was — allegedly — that he wanted to be able work in government while still retaining control of Facebook.

The documents allege that Erskine Bowles, one of Facebook board members on the special committee, was "worried that one of the concessions Zuckerberg wanted -- to allow the billionaire to serve two years in government without losing control of Facebook -- would look particularly irresponsible," according to Bloomberg. (Bowles is a former White House chief of staff.)

According to copies of the texts seen by The Guardian, Andreessen texted Zuckerberg in March that the "biggest issue" was "how to define the gov't service thing without freaking out shareholders that you are losing commitment."

"I think the biggest remaining issue is still around the government service," Andreessen texted later.

"Erskine is just massively uncomfortable with you getting to low economic ownership and then going off on leave with no involvement by the board and retaining control,'' he said.

"We rediscuss it on every call ... I'm going to try to drag it over the line one more time. ☺ ''

"He's worried that it's the straw that breaks the camel's back on the optics of good governance."

"He's worried it's the thing people will point to on announcement and say 'what the fuck are you guys doing agreeing to this' Particularly since he thinks gov't service would require you to give up control of FB anyway and it's a moot point."

"My counter argument is that because it's likely a moot point let's just give on it and it will probably never matter."

Beyond that, the case is light on details as to what Zuckerberg's purported government ambitions entail — whether he had an elected role or an appointed one in mind, for example, or whether there was a possible area of focus.

Another of Zuckerberg's board members, Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel, also has a new-found appetite for public service. Thiel was one of the few Silicon Valley leaders to back Donald Trump in the run-up to the election, and has now scored a position on Trump's transition team.

The case also claims that Marc Andreessen's texts to Mark Zuckerberg show he texted Zuckerberg during discussions to give pointers on strategy and effective lines of argument: "This line of argument is not helping. ☺" he wrote in one, and saying, "NOW WE'RE COOKING WITH GAS" in another.

Once Andreessen became sure that Bowles was persuaded to let Zuckerberg's plan go through, Andreessen allegedly texted to the CEO: "The cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river."

Zuckerberg replied: "Does that mean the cat's dead?"

Andreessen responded: "Mission accomplished ☺"

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Facebook chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a 'town-hall' meeting at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi on October 28, 2015. Speaking to about 900 students at New Delhi's Indian Institute of Technology, Zuckerberg said broadening Internet access was vital to economic development in a country where a billion people are still not online. AFP PHOTO / Money SHARMA (Photo credit should read MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during the Facebook F8 Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Facebook Inc. is opening up its Messenger chat application, letting developers create software for people to add photos, videos and other enhancements to their online conversations. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during a keynote session at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, March 2, 2015. The event, which generates several hundred million euros in revenue for the city of Barcelona each year, also means the world for a week turns its attention back to Europe for the latest in technology, despite a lagging ecosystem. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg delivers his address to participants during the launch promoting the Internet.org app in Jakarta on October 13, 2014 which allows people in underdeveloped areas to access basic online services. US-based social media Facebook founder Zuckerberg met with Indonesian President-elect Joko Widodo. Indonesia, has the fourth-largest number of Facebook users in the world. AFP PHOTO / ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW DELHI, INDIA - OCTOBER 9: Co-founder and chief executive of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg gestures as he announces the Internet.org Innovation Challenge in India on October 9, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Zuckerberg is on a two-day visit to India aimed at promoting the internet.org app, which allows people in underdeveloped areas to access basic online services. (Photo by Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 10: Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 10, 2014 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Many of the world's wealthiest and most powerful businessmen from media, finance, and technology attend the annual week-long conference which is in its 32nd year. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., arrives for a keynote session on the opening day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Top telecommunication managers will rub shoulders in Barcelona this week at the Mobile World Congress, Monday, Feb. 24 - 27, a traditional venue for showcasing the latest products for dealmaking. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the TechCrunch Conference at SF Design Center on September 11, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 12: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks with Washington Post Chairman and CEO Donald Graham during the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 12, 2012 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The conference has been hosted annually by the investment firm Allen & Company each July since 1983. The conference is typically attended by many of the world's most powerful media executives. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE - NOVEMBER 7: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and President of Facebook, speaks to the press while visiting MIT in Cambridge, Mass. on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. One of the reasons Zuckerberg is visiting Boston area universities is to look for interns. (Photo by Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FILE: In this file photo Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., speaks at Facebook's F8 developers conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. A Facebook IPO would provide funds to help the social-networking service maintain its expansion and fend off competition from Internet rivals such as Google Inc. and Twitter Inc. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CANNES, FRANCE - JUNE 23: CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg receives the award of Media person of the year as part of the 57th International Advertising Festival held at the Palais des festivals on June 22, 2010 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Francois G. Durand/Getty Images)
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