While birth announcements are common on Facebook, founder Mark Zuckerberg’s post is a little different than most of the new parent pics in your newsfeed. That’s because along with welcoming daughter Maxima to the family, he and his wife Priscilla Chan announced their commitment to give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares — currently worth about $45 billion — to fund the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that will try to “advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.”
They will give away the shares gradually, and an SEC filing says the CEO will not sell or gift more than $1 billion in shares per year for the next three years, and that he plans to maintain his majority voting position.
Zuckerberg announced the move on Facebook in the form of a letter to his baby:
Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.
Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.
While headlines often focus on what’s wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.
We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.
We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.