In a statement released by the company this week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced his intention to make a large sale of Facebook shares over the next 18 months. He intends to sell between 35% and 75%, based on current stock prices for the company at the time of the sale, and could be worth anywhere between $6 and $12.8 billion.
The proceeds from the sale will go to fund philanthropic activities by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which he founded together with his wife, Priscilla Chan in late 2015. Zuckerberg plans to give away 99% of his Facebook shares over the course of his life, valued at around $70 billion.
In a personal statement from Zuckerberg, he mentioned that this sale is part of a plan to sell more of his shares sooner, rather than later, in order to help fund science, education, and medicine through his charity organization.
The company said it would scrap a plan to create a new class of shares that would allow Zuckerberg to keep a majority of voting control in the company even if his ownership stake significantly decreased. Investors had sued to stop the plan, the board settled the case on Friday before Zuckerberg was scheduled to testify, at the bequest of Zuckerberg himself.
Due to the rising value of Facebook's stock and the performance of the company, Zuckerberg foresees himself retaining voting control of the company for another 20 years or more. As long as the company continues to thrive, Zuckerberg will be there to guide it along.