Zuckerberg to give away 99% of wealth because of baby

2 December 2015

mark-zuckerberg-facepalm Facebook may pay very little tax, but Mark Zuckerberg has had a baby and decided that he wants to give a load of money away. Lovely PR for him, that. He's said that he's going to give away 99% of his $45bn Facebook fortune.

In a Facebook post (naturally), he said that he's going to give away the majority of his Facebook shares, which at the moment, stands at around £30bn. He wants to do this to "join many others in improving this world for the next generation", adding: "We are committed to doing our small part to help create this world for all children."

Now, if your company could pay a proper amount of tax, that'd be great too. Don't think we've forgotten about that. And is this itself, a sly way of manoeuvring around that pesky tax? Lawyers, if you're reading, we're not suggesting it is.

Anyway, he continued further, in his letter address to his newborn daughter Max: "We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation."

Like Bill Gates, Zuckerberg wants to give a load of money to charity through  The Giving Pledge, so diseases can be eradicated and equality can be promoted.

"We will give 99% of our Facebook shares - currently about $45 billion - during our lives to advance this mission," he said. Zuckerberg and his wife are setting up a new organisation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to manage the money. Thanks to Facebook's unique dual-class structure, where Zuckerberg owns special super voting shares, he is able to give away ordinary shares of stock while still having majority control of the social network. This all feels like that scene in the Simpsons when Bart gets given worthless internet shares for his Angry Dad cartoon, but that's just us being cynical.

Here's Zuckerberg's letter in full:

"Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges. I will continue to serve as Facebook's CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work. By starting at a young age, we hope to see compounding benefits throughout our lives."

"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."

"We will give 99% of our Facebook shares -- currently about $45 billion -- during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others."

TOPICS:   Social Media


  • Father J.
    He's only giving this lot away because he's confident of making a similar sum out of poncing the data of mug Facebook users. And not pay tax on any of it.
  • Mr C.
    Having multiple classes of shares really isn't unique to Facebook, Companies have been doing that for decades and there's probably tens of thousands of them in the UK who have that type of structure. When Man United listed the Glaziers did the same thing and there was a (pretty small) outcry about it.

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