Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is donating 99% of his shares – worth approximately £30billion – to charity. The generous innovator who founded the popular social media site in 2004 will give the stock to the charity set up by himself and his wife, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The initiative which seeks to advance human potential and promote equality within the world won’t see all of the money straight away, as it is set to be gradually released as and when it’s needed.
Even without 99% of Facebook, Zuckerberg is still worth hundreds of millions of pounds, and this philanthropically inspired move came at the same time as the the birth of he and wife Priscilla Chan’s first daughter, Max. In an online letter to Max, Zuckerberg wrote: “Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future.”
Max was born last week, although her birth was only made public on Tuesday, and the initial areas of focus for the donation will be for personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.
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Speaking to the BBC about the donation, Billionaire Investor Warren Buffet commented: “30 is the new 70. No longer should billionaires wait to die before handing over money to a different generation, Buffet said, in a gushing approval of Silicon Valley’s newest and most influential power couple,”
BBC’s North America Technology Reporter Dave Lee believes that the move is a step in a new director for the Facebook founder and global figure. Writing on the BBC News website he said: “It’s a continuation of what we’ve seen developing over the past six months, where Zuckerberg appears at ease hosting heads of state as he does in the company of his own development team. His ambition now is clearly to be a significant figure on the global political stage.”