Chan and Zuckerberg signed the Giving Pledge back in December 9th of 2010, to give away 99% of their wealth during their lifetimes. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was born, and the philanthropy duo is tapping into billions worth of Facebook shares.
Last April, Zuckerberg announced wanting Class C shares which caries all the economic benefits of Class A and B shares, but no voting rights. This is important to the young genius, who might have started off a bit menacing, but perhaps proof that people can change. It’s important because he currently owns 60% of controlling interests in his company. To fund the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, he will have to sell off many of his shares. Class C would allow him to do that without losing majority control.
And so begins the war. Other Facebook shareholders filed a class action lawsuit almost as soon as the plan was announced, and Zuckerberg was scheduled to testify on September 26.
However, Zuckerberg announced that the company is withdrawing its plans to issue the Class C shares. He said “At the time, I felt that this reclassification was the best way to do both of these things (Facebook and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative)… knew it was going to be complicated and it wasn’t a perfect solution. Over the past year and a half, Facebook’s business has performed well and the value of our stock has grown to the point that I can fully fund our philanthropy and retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more.”
I suppose shareholders just learnt a few things from Chan and Zuckerberg. In a battle, if moving forward encounters opposition, then move upwards. Sure, that’s easier said than done, but both sides can win in the end. So even an attempt of this is definitely worth it!