Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg made two big announcements on Wednesday. One, he announced the birth of his daughter, and two, he pledged to give away 99 per cent of his company shares to make the world a “better place”. As of now FB is estimated to be worth USD 45 billion.
To everyone’s surprise, Zuckerberg announced his daughter’s birth on a FB post that came along with a letter that read, “about the world we hope she grows up in”.
“It’s a world where our generation can advance human potential and promote equality – by curing disease, personalising learning, harnessing clean energy, connecting people, building strong communities, reducing poverty, providing equal rights and spreading understanding across nations….We are committed to doing our small part to help create this world for all children. We will give 99 per cent of our Facebook shares – currently about USD 45 billion – during our lives to join many others in improving this world for the next generation,” 31-year-old Zuckerberg said in the post.
Zuckerberg’s wife Priscilla Chan gave birth to a daughter last week, but announcement was made only on Tuesday night by newly-turned father. Zuckerberg posted the news on Facebook along with a photo of him with wife and the baby and the letter in which the couple pledge their wealth.
The donation is not expected to happen right away. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Zuckerberg plans to “sell or gift” no more than USD 1 billion worth of Facebook stock every year over the next three years.
The California-based social network’s filing also indicates that Zuckerberg plans to contribute the funds to a new initiative called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to “advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation”.
The Facebook co-founder will continue to control the voting rights of any shares held by that organisation.
“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,” the letter said.
“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 personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities,” it said.
Zuckerberg’s announcement found a lot of appreciation from both the business and charity communities all over the world.
“Wow. The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world,” said Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.