Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan say they will give away 99% of their shares in the company to charity as they announce the birth of their daughter Max.
Mr. Zuckerberg made the announcement in a letter to Max on his Facebook page. Read the full letter here: www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg
Facebook’s international headquarters has been based in Dublin since 2009. The company currently employs 1,000 people in the capital.
31 year old Zuckerberg said they are donating their $45bn (£30bn) fortune to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in order “to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation”.
The shares will be donated over the course of the couple’s lives. If Mr. Zuckerberg were to give away 99% of his shares immediately, he would still possess hundreds of millions of dollars.
Its initial areas of focus will be personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.
This comes in the weeks that the Atlantic Philanthropies announced its largest ever donation towards curing Dementia in Ireland. The organisation, founded by Irish-American Chuck Feeney recently promised €138 Million (£97.5M) to Trinity College Dublin and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), to establish the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI).
’30 is the new 70′
Billionaire investor Warren Buffet congratulated Zuckerberg and Chan, proclaiming that when it comes to giving away your fortune, “30 is the new 70”.
The letter to Max highlighted the important role of technology in achieving the couple’s goals of advancing human potential and equality.
“Many of the greatest opportunities for your generation will come from giving everyone access to the internet,” Mr Zuckerberg wrote to his daughter.
He said more details about the donation will be released once he and Ms Chan return from paternity and maternity leave.
Mr. Zuckerberg said he will remain chief executive of Facebook for “many, many years to come”.
In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commision, Facebook said that Mr. Zuckerberg “plans to sell or gift no more than $1bn of Facebook stock each year for the next three years and that he intends to retain his majority voting position…for the foreseeable future.”
Facebook is currently listing 280 available jobs at its Dublin headquarters, as Enda Kenny maintains that “Ireland remains an attractive location in which to locate and do business”.