Zuckerberg promises not to sell shares for at least a year

Jerimiah Yap – Fourth Estate Cooperative Writer

Menlo Park, CA, United States (4E) – Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t plan to sell his shares despite the company’s falling stock prices. Some Facebook executives have already sold shares, including co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.

Facebook director Peter Thiel sold his shares of the company for an estimated $ 1 billion. Thiel was one of the company’s earliest investors as he wrote a check for $ 500,000 to help Facebook get started.

Zuckerberg sold some of his shares worth $ 1.15 billion a few months ago to pay taxes.

It certainly does not help build stock holder confidence when executives and directors are unloading their shares and flooding the market with them.

Zuckerberg owns a total of 504 million shares — 444 million are Class B stock and 60 million are to be exercised as an option.

Since the lockup period of the stock ended last month, Facebook shares have continued to drop in value. Even with more than 950 million users, businesses aren’t confident in advertising on the most popular social media website in the world.

The stock has already dropped by 53 percent since its initial public offering.

A couple of Facebook board members also have no intention of selling their shares for the sole reason of cashing in. Marc Andreessen and Donald Graham, both board members, will only sell stock to pay taxes.

According to Bloomberg News, “Facebook is also spending an estimated $ 1.9 billion to buy back 101 million shares from early employees, instead of issuing shares to cover tax obligations.”

The company is using cash borrowed from credit facilities to fund the buyback.

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