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New Dad Mark Zuckerberg Will Give 99% of His Facebook Shares to Charitable Causes

That’s $45 billion at the current market value

by
Tess Cutler
December 02, 2015
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On the so-called national day of giving (#GivingTuesday), which falls after the capitalistic rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, pledged to donate 99% of their Facebook stock—currently worth 45 billion big ones—to charitable purposes. On Tuesday, the couple posted a message titled “A letter to our daughter” onto Facebook (where else?), one week after the birth of their first child, a daughter named Max. “Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today,” they wrote. They continued:

As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.

With keywords in bold and an ample supply of statistics, their open letter reads more like a business pitch, which, in essence it is, rather than a letter to a newborn. But still, the letter isn’t void of the occasional tender aside:

Max, we love you and feel a great responsibility to leave the world a better place for you and all children. We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us. We can’t wait to see what you bring to this world.

Zuckerberg, 31, has already filed an 8-K Form that lays out a game plan in which he’ll tactfully “sell or gift no more than $1 billion of Facebook stock each year for the next three years and that he intends to retain his majority voting position in our stock for the foreseeable future.” If the CEO of the tech giant with a $300 billion-plus market cap, were to indeed donate the 99% majority of his shares, he’d still own a hefty sum of Facebook, worth $450 million. The donated stocks will go directly to their newfound initiative.

Since its launch 11 years ago, Facebook has accrued over 1.5 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular social network worldwide and the toast of Wall Street. This past November, the social network made headlines when stocks went for $108.47 per share, a 65% jump since its initial public offering in 2012.

While ambitious, Zuckerberg and Chan’s donation, which will be going to an LLC, has not come without some scrutiny, of course.

Tess Cutler is an intern at Tablet.

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