Mark Zuckerberg and Wife to Donate 99% of Facebook Shares In Honor of Newborn Daughter
Whether you love the social media site or find it incredibly annoying, there’s no denying that Facebook is one incredibly valuable company. As it currently stands, the Facebook shares owned by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are worth a humungous $45 billion. For comparison’s sake, that’s equivalent to 126 Boeing 747-8s, or 5625 Los Angeles mansions. In fact, the United States government only has $49 billion on hand in order to keep the country working, so really Zuckerberg and Chan have enough to start their very own city-state. They won’t be paying for any of that though, as the couple have just announced plans to give almost all of their money away, in honor of their newborn daughter, Max.
In a heartwarming letter posted on Facebook, Zuckerberg says that “your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.” The new father goes on to explain that they have “a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation” to “collectively direct our resources at the biggest opportunities and problems your generation will face”. And to accomplish that, they’ll donate 99% of their shares before the end of their lifetimes.
The plan, Zuckerberg explains, is to focus on two key principles; “advancing human potential and promoting equality.” They will invest in ways to keep people connected, cures for diseases, education, entrepreneurship, and they want to make sure that “everyone has access to these opportunities — regardless of the nation, families or circumstances they are born into.” Additionally, they hope to provide people with basic healthcare, eliminate poverty, empower women, children, minorities, immigrants and the unconnected, and build inclusive communities. While that list would sound like problems only a genie in a bottle could solve, Chan and Zuckerberg have more than enough money and drive to pull it off.
To accomplish all of this, Chan and Zuckerberg have set up the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, but what’s crucial is the fact that rather than being a non-profit (a classification which has certain limits attached to it), the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is listed as having a ‘limited liability corporate structure’. With this, the couple has the freedom to invest in other companies and even lobby for legislation/influence policy debates, meaning that should Chan and Zuckerberg feel strongly about a law that could aid their goals, they’ll be able to put their huge monetary support behind it.
For the most part, people are praising the decision, saying that their decision is incredibly admirable, but others are wary of the couple as although they mean well, it’s yet to be seen how effective their methods will be. We’ll keep you posted on any future developments.
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