On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan announced that in honor of their daughter’s birth, they would donate 99 percent of their shares in Facebook, valued at $45 billion, to various causes.
The birth of Zuckerberg’s daughter, named Max, triggered the gift, which will be spread throughout the couple’s lifetime, leaving them with $450 million in stock. Zuckerberg will donate no more than $1 billion of the company’s stock each year for the next three years, keeping his CEO position and his majority voting position, according to siliconvalley.com.
The couple wrote a lengthy public letter to their daughter on Facebook, outlining their plans for the money, with a focus on improving efforts to fight disease, an exhortation for more people to use the Internet, and a mission statement that focused on two issues: advancing human potential and promoting equality.
Besides the focus on health issues, the letter offers several overtly political statements, such as: “If you fear you’ll go to prison rather than college because of the color of your skin, or that your family will be deported because of your legal status, or that you may be a victim of violence because of your religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, then it’s difficult to reach your full potential.”
Zuckerberg has already given $100 million to New Jersey schools, a donation largely viewed as a waste, given the schools’ poor performance.