Facebook CEO and his wife promised to donate 99 percent of their shares worth $45bn to ‘advance human potential’ to create a better world for their newborn baby.
“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.”
“While headlines often focus on what’s wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today,” Zuckerberg wrote to his daughter in a letter.
“We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.”
He went on, adding: “We will give 99% 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.”
The chief of the world’s biggest social network unveiled that he plans to give away no more than $1bn a year for the next three years while holding on to majority voting rights in the social network.
The billionaire published a picture on Facebook of himself holding his daughter, Max, alongside wife Priscilla Chan, whom he married in 2012.
“Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in,” he wrote.
Zuckerberg, who joins fellow billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates in donating money to, vowed to remain as Facebook’s chief executive for “many, many years to come.”
Melinda Gates, wife of the Microsoft founder, commented on Zuckerberg’s open letter. “As for your decision to give back so generously, and to deepen your commitment now, the first word that comes to mind is: Wow. The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world.
“We can be confident of this: Max and every child born today will grow up in a world that is better than the one we know now. As you say, ‘seeds planted now will grow.’ Your work will bear fruit for many decades to come,” she wrote.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, wrote: “This is a beautiful letter and an incredible commitment to future generations. Congratulations Mark and Priscilla – this is the start of another amazing chapter in your lives.”
Mark Zuckerberg founded the world’s most popular social network while studying at Harvard university. He met Chan at a Harvard party in 2003 and she was one of the first people to join Facebook, on February 5, 2004.
The site now boasts 1.49bn monthly active users, with Facebook accounting for one out of every five minutes people spend on mobile phones in the US.