Facebook Inc Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg, sold nearly 500 million dollars in the company’s shares in February to fund his philanthropic investment vehicle, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), regulatory filings showed. The move is not a surprise, being part of Zuckerberg’s plan to expedite stock sales to fund the initiative he set up in December 2015 with his wife Priscilla Chan.
Two security filings on Thursday showed that Zuckerberg sold 685,000 shares worth 125.4 million dollars in the last three days of February. This had taken his total sales in the month to about 2.7 million shares worth 482.2 million dollars. Zuckerberg said in September he would sell 35 million to 75 million shares of Facebook over the next 18 months. That would amount to up to 13 billion dollars, based on Facebook’s current share price. The Silicon Valley billionaire has said he will donate 99 per cent of his Facebook shares to CZI – worth about 45 billion dollars when the initiative was formed.
He sold about 1.6 billion dollars of the company’s stock in 2016 and 2017, according to technology website Recode. Zuckerberg’s foundation is similar to those set up by Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, and the Buffett Foundation, formed by billionaire Warren Buffett.