Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to donate 99 per cent of their shares to "advance human potential and promote equality"

 
Hayley Kirton
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The letter posted on the website also served as an announcement of the birth of the couple's daughter (Source: Getty)

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have today revealed that they plan to donate almost all of their shares in Facebook to good causes over their lifetimes.

In a letter to his newborn daughter posted on the social media website, Zuckerberg said that he and Chan would be giving away 99 per cent of their shares in the company – a donation which is currently worth roughly $45bn (£29.8bn) – to "advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation".

In the letter, Zuckerberg wrote: "We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others."

Read more: Facebook shares have gone over $100 for the first time

According to a report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Zuckerberg has set up a new vehicle, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to which he plans to give no more than $1bn of Facebook stock each year for the next three years. The form also states that the social media chief executive plans to retaining a majority voting position in the Facebook stock for the foreseeable future.

Zuckerberg said in his letter to his daughter that he intends to continue on as Facebook's boss for "many, many years to come", but acknowledges that "these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work". He also said he would share more details about what precisely he is planning to do in the coming months, after he and Chan have returned from paternity and maternity leave.

The letter also serves as an announcement of the birth of Zuckerberg and Chan's first child, who they have named Max.

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