Mark Zuckerberg announced on Friday that he was dropping a bid to maintain majority control of Facebook while he and his wife Priscilla sell off almost all of their shares in the company to fund their philanthropy.
Zuckerberg specifically said in a post on his Facebook page that he was abandoning a plan to create a class of Facebook stockholders without voting rights in order for him stay in control of the company.
“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,” he wrote. “As a result, I've asked our board to withdraw the proposal to reclassify our stock — and the board has agreed.”
The Facebook CEO wrote that scrapping the effort would not alter his family’s charity work.
“I want to be clear: this doesn't change Priscilla and my plans to give away 99% of our Facebook shares during our lives,” Zuckerberg wrote.
“In fact, we now plan to accelerate our work and sell more of those shares sooner. I anticipate selling 35-75 million Facebook shares in the next 18 months to fund our work in education, science, and advocacy.”
Facebook has taken heat from lawmakers over revelations that Kremlin-linked actors bought political ads on the site in an apparent effort to influence last year’s election.
Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the company would hand over information on the ads to congressional investigators and revise its political advertising policies to increase transparency.