With this step, the Facebook CEO joins the ranks of the ultra-wealthy like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to pledge away most of his wealth to charity. This comes in light of the events that transpired on Tuesday when Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Chan made a declaration that they will give away 99% of their Facebook shares worth $45 billion as of today to a new charity they are setting up which they wrote in a letter addressed to their new born daughter Max who was born last week.
On his Facebook Page, Zuckerberg posted a photo of the family along with a 2200 word letter titled “A letter to our daughter.” The letter contains topics such as health, education, learning, internet access and the Chan Zuckerberg initiative that aims to “Advance human potential and promote equality.”
The couple plans to give away 99% of their shares to fuel this initiative and bring it to reality. The plan to let off the shares is in a phased manner and not all at once. The initiative with focus on personalized learning, curing diseases, internet connectivity for all and building the community. They feel everyone deserves to be on an equal platform and internet is the best way to go about it which does not discriminate anyone in any ways.
The daughter, Max Chan Zuckerberg was born a healthy child last week, though the date of birth is not exactly mentioned. Both the parents are now on their paternity and maternity leave for two months respectively. Zuckerberg had made the announcement of the leave the previous month itself.
Both Chan and Mark have committed $1.6 billion to their philanthropy. Till date they have made several large donations to the public schools, hospitals, including the San Francisco general Hospital where Chan works as a Pediatrician. They also put their funds to bring in better wireless internet access for the masses.
When 26, Mark Zuckerberg signed a pledge in which he committed to give more than half of his wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes over his lifetime or in his will. Though that does not mean Mark will no more be the CEO of Facebook. He said that he is going to remain the CEO of Facebook for many years in the foreseeable future and is going to be the controlling stockholder of the company. He does plan to give away up to $1 billion of Facebook stock each year for the next three years as reported by a company spokesperson.
We will have some more details on this when the Zuckerberg couple returns from their leaves and reports to active duty. Until then we will wait and see how things unfold on this front and expect to see a lot more of Max Zuckerberg growing up.