It’s nearly Christmas, and it’s the season of giving. Quite appropriately, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 31 year old billionaire founder, has pledged to give away 99% of his Facebook shares towards good causes. These shares have a combined value of $45 billion.
Zuckerberg’s announcement came in a Facebook post that announced the birth of his daughter, Max. Zuckerberg shared a heartwarming letter written to his daughter, which listed out the issues facing the world that his daughter would grow up in, and the opportunities humans had to fix them. His vision of the future involved discussions about advancing human potential and promoting equality.
While he didn’t provide details on where he intends to use the money, he talked at length about how the internet could solve some of the world’s biggest problems. Like fellow billionaire Bill Gates who focusses on health as a large part of his philanthropic efforts, Zuckerberg also seems to want to devote a part of his fortune towards curing disease. “Can our generation cure disease so you live much longer and healthier lives?”, his post wondered.
Zuckerberg’s charitable plans are the latest indication of a growing interest in philanthropy among Silicon Valley’s young billionaires, who unlike previous generations of business tycoons, appear eager to spread their wealth while they are still young. There is also a growing trend of company CEOs giving away their personal shares. Recently, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had distributed his shares among his employees. Closer home, Housing CEO Rahul Yadav had also announced his intention to give away his entire stake in the company to his employees claiming that he didn’t build companies for the money.