Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is donating nearly $500 million in stock to a Silicon Valley charitable foundation.
The 28-year-old Zuckerberg said he and his wife, Priscilla, earmarked the gift of 18 million Facebook shares for health and education issues.
“Mark’s generous gift will change lives and inspire others in Silicon Valley and around the globe to give back and make the world a better place,” Emmett D. Carson, CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, said in a statement.
A spokesman for the foundation declined further comment.
Zuckerberg made the announcement about the donation to the foundation on his Facebook Timeline.
“Together, we will look for areas in education and health to focus on next,” Zuckerberg wrote.
The gift, worth $498.8 million based on Tuesday’s closing stock price,is Zuckerberg’s largest.
He pledged $100 million in Facebook stock to Newark, N.J., public schools in 2010. Later that year he joined the Giving Pledge, the push from Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett to get the nation’s richest people to donate most of their wealth.
“This is great news for people who are passionate about improving public education,” said Jen Holleran, executive director of Startup:Education, Zuckerberg’s foundation, which is initially focused on the Newark schools. “Mark’s commitment to dramatically improving the public schools in Newark has been making exciting progress, and we’re thrilled to know that his larger dedication to philanthropy is continuing.”
Dustin Moskovitz, the Facebook co-founder who left the giant social network in 2008 to start his own company, Asana, also joined the Giving Pledge and started a private foundation called Good Ventures with his fiancee, Cari Tuna, a former Wall Street Journal reporter.