Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan Welcome Daughter Max, Launch Charitable Initiative

By David Cohen Comment

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Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, welcomed their daughter, Max Zuckerberg, Tuesday, and the new father was in quite the charitable mood.

Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook note titled, “A Letter to Our Daughter,” that he and Chan would donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares—currently valued at some $45 billion—to charitable causes.

He wrote in the note:

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 percent 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.

We’ll share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves. We understand you’ll have many questions about why and how we’re doing this.

Facebook also made the formation of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative official in a Form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which read:

On Dec. 1, 2015, our founder, chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that, during his lifetime, he will gift or otherwise direct substantially all of his shares of Facebook stock, or the net after-tax proceeds from sales of such shares, to further the mission of advancing human potential and promoting equality by means of philanthropic, public advocacy and other activities for the public good. For this purpose, Mr. Zuckerberg has established a new entity, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC, and he will control the voting and disposition of any shares held by such entity. He has informed us that he plans to 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. Any sale of shares by Mr. Zuckerberg will be conducted pursuant to a trading plan established pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Sales and gifts of shares by Mr. Zuckerberg will be disclosed publicly in accordance with the rules established by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under Section 16 of the Exchange Act. As of the date of this filing, Mr. Zuckerberg beneficially owns approximately 4 million shares of class-A common stock and approximately 419 million shares of class-B common stock.

Zuckerberg’s lengthy note to his daughter touches upon several topics, including health, healthcare, advancing human potential, promoting equality, personalized learning, Internet access, community education and, of course, technology.

Readers: What did you think of Zuckerberg’s announcement?

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