Nearly 20 years have passed since Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook with friends at Harvard. Building on an idea that Zuckerberg, the primary developer, had in 2003, he registered the URL thefacebook.com in January 2004. And it took off.
What started off as a campus site, Facebook had 2.96 billion monthly active users as of the end of 2022, according to the quarterly report issued in February 2023 by parent company Meta Platforms. And it's still growing, even if revenues haven't. That figure represented a year-over-year increase of 2%.
The success of Facebook has landed Zuckerberg in a stratosphere he probably never envisioned reaching when he was a student at Harvard. He is among the 20 richest people in the world, with a net worth of $84 billion, according to Forbes as of May 11. At 38, he remains the youngest person in the top 20 and the only one under 45.
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Through the Years
Forbes named Mark Zuckerberg the richest U.S. entrepreneur under age 40 in 2017. At that time, Zuckerberg's net worth was $71 billion -- $57.4 billion more than the runner-up, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.
Zuckerberg holds the titles of founder, chairman and CEO of Meta. Facebook boasts one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history. At the time of the 2012 IPO, the company's shares were priced at $38 each, valuing Facebook at $104 billion. Zuckerberg owned more than 503 million shares and options when the company went public, which boosted his share of the company to $16.9 billion, Forbes reported.
In 2016, Zuckerberg began to sell some of his Facebook stock.
The company has seen its stock drop, and rebound, a few times. In March 2018, the stock fell by almost 20% over how it handled the private data of users but recovered within two months after Zuckerberg testified before Congress and the company posted a good quarterly earnings report, according to Forbes. It fell again on disappointing earnings the following July and rebounded again in the next year. Under its umbrella, Meta Platforms includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus. Meta's workforce grew vigorously during the pandemic, but the company announced it will shed 10,000 jobs this year. That's on top of about 11,000 cutbacks in late 2022, Reuters reported. The cuts some amid a drop in market capitalization, which dropped almost by half in 2022 from $603.49 billion in March to $315.56 billion at the end of the year but has rebounded in the first quarter of 2023.
The company's headquarters are in Menlo Park, California, about 30 miles south of San Francisco, and at the edge of Silicon Valley.
Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook Salary: $1
In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg reportedly earned about $770,000 from his Facebook salary and bonuses, according to Forbes. The following year, he slashed his annual salary to $1.
Although the billionaire entrepreneur isn't earning a big salary for his day job, the company pays for some significant expenses.
The Guardian reported that financial allocation for his security this year is rising from $10 million to $14 million to "address safety concerns due to specific threats" directly related to his job.
Mark Zuckerberg's Philanthropy and Personal Life
Mark Zuckerberg possesses more wealth than most people will ever see. Rather than keep his money to himself, however, he plans to give much of it away.
In 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, signed The Giving Pledge. The brainchild of Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates and Warren Buffett, The Giving Pledge calls for wealthy people to give most of their money to charitable causes.
In November 2015, the Zuckerbergs had their first child, daughter Maxima. He reiterated his philanthropic intentions in a letter to his daughter that outlined her parents' hopes for her future and that of her generation. In the letter, the couple introduced the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which focuses on the causes of personalized learning, curing disease and connecting people.
In the letter, which was shared on Facebook, Chan and Zuckerberg vowed to give 99% of their Facebook shares, then valued at about $45 billion, to the mission.
In August 2017, the couple announced that they had welcomed their second daughter, August.
They apparently inherited their dad's early interest in computers. In summer 2021, he shared a photo on Facebook of August learning to use the computer.
Mark Zuckerberg's Real Estate
In a February 2022 article, Architectural Digest detailed the vast real estate holdings of Zuckerberg and Chan. They can choose to sleep in one of several homes they own in California, including in Lake Tahoe, or from properties on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Zuckerberg has been known to buy a primary home and then snap up neighboring properties to guarantee his family's privacy.
In 2011, Zuckerberg bought a 5,617-square-foot home near the Facebook offices for a reported $7 million, Architectural Digest reported. CNBC said he retrofitted it with Jarvis, a "custom-made artificially intelligent assistant" that started teaching Mandarin to the Zuckerbergs' oldest daughter when she was a baby.
Three years later, he bought 707 acres on Kauai for about $116 million then in 2021 spent $53 million for an additional 600 acres. Zuckerberg wants to "promote conservation, produce sustainable agriculture, and protect native wildlife at our ranch and in the surrounding areas," he said of the Hawaii holdings, per Architectural Digest.
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