In a Facebook post addressed to his recently born first child, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he and his wife Priscilla Chan will give away 99 per cent of their Facebook shares within their lifetimes.
The money will go to the newly founded Chan Zuckerberg Foundation.
The pledge was made in an open letter to their newborn daughter, Max, who was born about a week ago.
Mark formed the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to manage the money, through an unusual limited liability corporate structure.
The Initiative will take up causes, such as fighting disease, improving education, harnessing clean energy, reducing poverty and promoting equal rights.
The post also mentioned that Priscilla gave birth to a baby girl last week, but the couple didn’t put out the news until Tuesday when Zuckerberg decided to post it on his Facebook page along with the news about their decision.
The post started with:
Priscilla and I are so happy to welcome our daughter Max into this world! For her birth, we wrote a letter to her about the world we hope she grows up in.
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It’s a world where our generation can advance human potential and promote equality — by curing disease, personalizing 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% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to join many others in improving this world for the next generation.
Thank you to everyone in this community for all your love and support during the pregnancy. You’ve given us hope that together we can build this world for Max and all children
Along with the post, Mark had attached the letter that was addressed to his daughter and was in form of a Facebook Note.
The letter then went on to give detail description about the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and how they plan to pursue it in the future.
The post in turn generated a lot of positive response for the couple with over 855k likes and over 61k comments in few hours. The list of well wishers included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, Shakira, Luciano Huck and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Though Max’s exact date of birth has not been mentioned, it is believed that she was born in the last week of November and at the time of birth weighed 7 lbs 8 ounces.
Zuckerberg owns about 4 million shares of Class A shares in Facebook and approximately 419 million supervoting shares, Facebook said in a securities filing.
The vast majority of those shares will be directed toward his philanthropic work. He plans to sell or gift no more than $1 billion of Facebook stock each year for the next three years.
The Facebook CEO also said that he intends to retain his majority voting position in Facebook shares for the foreseeable future.