Mark Zuckerberg is co-founder and chief executive of Meta Platforms, the company behind Facebook — the world’s largest social-network. The Menlo Park, California-based business had revenue of $117 billion in 2022 and has about 3.7 billion monthly users. Its initial public offering in 2012 was the biggest-ever technology IPO at the time.
The majority of Zuckerberg’s fortune is derived from a stake of about 13% in Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook, according to the company’s 2023 proxy statement.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network. Meta Platforms has about 3.7 billion active users each month including about 3 billion on Facebook, according to a January 2023 company presentation. The company sold shares in an initial public offering on May 17, 2012 in what was the biggest technology IPO in history at the time.
The billionaire owns the shares through a series of trusts and holding companies, according to the proxy. He plans to give away 99% of his shares over his lifetime, according to a December 2015 SEC filing. Zuckerberg started selling shares in August 2016 to fund his philanthropy and in Bloomberg’s calculation he isn’t credited with the value of any sales proceeds that fund charitable work. He’s still credited with those shares he plans to give away because he still owns them.
The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of insider transactions — mostly the sale of Facebook shares valued by an analysis of Bloomberg data and company filings — as well as taxes, property purchases, philanthropic giving and market performance.
Education: Phillips Exeter Academy
Born in White Plains, New York, Zuckerberg built his reputation as a computer programming prodigy at the elite boarding school Phillips Exeter Academy. After graduating from Exeter with a major in classics, he enrolled at Harvard University, where he started Facebook from his dorm room with three friends. The site quickly began migrating to other universities, prompting Zuckerberg to drop out of Harvard and move to Silicon Valley.
He received $500,000 in funding from Peter Thiel in the fall of 2004. Investments from other venture firms quickly followed. Facebook’s membership was approaching 1 million users by December 2004. With Facebook’s rise came a number of legal issues, first with co-founder Eduardo Saverin — who was cut from the company in the summer of 2004 — and with Divya Narendra and the twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who sued Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing the idea behind Facebook.
In November 2011, Facebook reached a 20-year agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to settle complaints that it had violated user privacy. The company sold shares in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange on May 17, 2012. It was then the biggest technology IPO in history.
Zuckerberg has pledged to donate the majority of his fortune to charity. In September 2010, he donated $100 million of Facebook shares to the Newark, New Jersey, public school system. He has also donated 36 million shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Zuckerberg is married to Priscilla Chan, who gave birth to a baby girl in December 2015. The same day, Zuckerberg announced plans to give away 99% of his stock in the social network during his lifetime to advance philanthropic causes. The couple’s second daughter was born in August 2017.
- 1984 Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is born in White Plains, New York.
- 2004 Creates thefacebook.com in Harvard dorm room with three friends.
- 2004 Raises $500,000 angel investment from venture capitalist Peter Thiel.
- 2005 Company officially changes its name to Facebook.
- 2005 Rejects $1 billion offer to sell Facebook to Yahoo.
- 2012 Facebook acquires digital photo company Instagram for $1 billion.
- 2012 Facebook sells shares in what was then the biggest technology IPO in history.
- 2012 The social network crosses the 1 billion members mark.