Zuckerberg to Sell Up to 75M Facebook Shares

He's dropped a plan to create a new class of stock
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2017 9:50 AM CDT
Zuckerberg to Sell Up to 75M Facebook Shares
This photo provided Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, by Facebook, shows Mark Zuckerberg with his wife, Priscilla Chan, their new baby daughter August, left, and her sister Maxima, right.   (Charles Ommanney/Facebook via AP)

Mark Zuckerberg says he's sticking with his plan to eventually sell 99% of his shares in Facebook—and he's starting with up to 75 million shares, which is almost a fifth of his stake in the company. In a post on, of course, Facebook, Zuckerberg explains that he has dropped his controversial plan to create non-voting shares in the company because his shares have become so valuable that he can sell enough to fund his philanthropy and "retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more," TechCrunch reports. Facebook "was not originally founded to be a company, but to accomplish a social mission," he says. The stock has soared to more than $170 a share, meaning Zuckerberg's sell-off could raise up to $12.8 billion.

Zuckerberg's earlier plan to create a new class of shares would have allowed him to sell off almost all his stock and still retain control of the company, but it was deeply unpopular with other shareholders, Bloomberg reports. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have pledged to give away most of their fortune. Zuckerberg says the share sale will fund work at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative including efforts at "curing all diseases in our children's lifetime and personalizing education for every student." The initiative is working with "amazing scientists, educators, and doctors around the world who need support today, not decades from now," he says. (Zuckerberg and Chan welcomed a new baby in August.)

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