Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan plan to give away 99 percent of their shares in the social networking company — which are collectively worth somewhere around $45 billion — throughout their lives.
Zuckerberg revealed the news in a letter to his daughter published on Facebook. She was born over the week of Thanksgiving; Zuckerberg announced in November that he plans to take two months of paternity leave after she is born.
In the letter, Zuckerberg said that he plans to remain Facebook’s chief executive for “many, many years to come” but that he and Chan also believe that these issues are “too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work.”
The couple wishes to “join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation” by focusing on “personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.”
“We’ll share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves,” he said. “We understand you’ll have many questions about why and how we’re doing this.”
Zuckerberg, like almost a hundred other billionaires, previously agreed to give away half of his wealth by signing on to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-started Giving Pledge in 2012. It’s not clear if the two promises are related.