The Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg who is also regarded as the 5th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $127 billion has sold shares of his company almost every business day this year.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission over the past 8 months the founder has sold over 9.4 million shares which is valued at $2.8 billion. 90% of the sale of shares was made by the Chan Zuckerberg Institute, the philanthropic and advocacy organization founder by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. According to Forbes an estimated $200 million from the sales went to his own pocket.
Since Facebook became public in 2012 with its very first IPO, the company sold over 132 million shares valued at $15 billion of which $2.1 billion was received by Zuckerberg himself as an after tax profit. Since 2012 however the CEO has lowered his stake in the company from 28% to 14%.
The continuous selling of stocks took place from 2016 onwards and during this time the couple penned a letter to their unborn daughter pledging to give 99% of Facebook shares over their lifetime and contribute to areas such as education and curing diseases. At the times the shares were worth over $45 billion.
The continuous selling stopped in 2019 where the company and CZI only made one donation of $60 million by selling 204 700 shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. While there was no official statement made by the company as to the sudden halt they did however note that the sale of stocks was to be carried out in accordance with a pre-determined plan filed with the SEC referred to as ‘Plan 10b5-1’. This plan allowed for corporate officers to sell stocks at regular intervals.
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