“This Was Not Our Finest Hour,” Says Nasdaq CEO Regarding Facebook IPO Glitch

Posted May 21, 2012

Robert Greifeld, the CEO of the Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. has acknowledged that the Nasdaq’s technology design problems caused by order cancellations had interfered with Facebook’s IPO process. When Nasdaq conducted tests before the IPO, they failed to detect the problems.

“This was not our finest hour,” said Greifeld when talking to reporters on Saturday. He said that the exchange was “hugely embarrassing” by the technical problems. However he said that the first day of trading in Facebook stock was “successful” and he said that withdrawing the IPO had never came into consideration.

Professional traders, mutual funds, and other financial institutions had to wait over two hours after Facebook shares started trading at 11:30AM EST to find out whether their orders would be honored or cancelled. The uncertainty had caused some big investors to bail out of Facebook’s stock since they did not know whether they had bought or sold Facebook stock and at what price.

Nasdaq heavily competed against NYSE Euronext to get Facebook to list with them.