Mark Zuckerberg to give away 99pct of Facebook shares

  • 02/12/2015
Mark Zuckerberg (Reuters)
Mark Zuckerberg (Reuters)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to give away his fortune to make the world a better place for new baby daughter Max and others.

In a letter to Max posted on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan said they will give away 99 percent of their company shares - estimated value US$45 billion (NZ$66 billion) - during their lives in an effort to make a happy and healthy world.

"Max, we love you and feel a great responsibility to leave the world a better place for you and all children. We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us. We can't wait to see what you bring to this world," the letter said.

Zuckerberg will "gift or otherwise direct" nearly all his shares of Facebook stock, or the after-tax proceeds of sales of shares, to further a mission of "advancing human potential and promoting equality" by means of activities for the public good, the California-based social network said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Zuckerberg "intends to retain his majority voting position in our stock for the foreseeable future", Facebook said in the SEC filing.

"As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation," the Facebook chief and his wife said.

"Our initial areas of focus will be personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities."