Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, plan to give away 99% of their Facebook shares for charitable purposes, Zuckerberg said Tuesday in a Facebook post. The news comes as the couple also announced the birth of their first child, a daughter named Max.
That portion of Facebook shares is currently valued at $45 billion, according to Zuckerberg. The donations won’t happen right away: a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission says the Facebook CEO plans to “sell or gift” no more than $1 billion worth of Facebook stock every year over the next three years.
That SEC filing also indicates Zuckerberg plans to contribute the funds through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. He will continue to control the voting rights of any shares held by that organization.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is intended to “advance human potential and promote equality for all,” Zuckerberg wrote in a letter addressed to his new daughter. The initiative’s first areas of focus will be on education, curing disease, and connectivity.
“We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues,” Zuckerberg wrote. “But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.”
Zuckerberg says he plans to share more details in the coming months, once both he and his wife return from their respective paternity and maternity leaves. He said last month he plans on taking two months of paternity leave.
The Facebook CEO’s move to donate significant amounts of his personal wealth echoes Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ decision to give $28 billion to charity, promising that his children will only inherit “a minuscule portion” of his considerable holdings.
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