Mark Zuckerberg pledges to donate 99 per cent of his Facebook shares to charity

Facebook founder announces plans to make £30billion donation as daughter is born

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of social networking site Facebook, has launched a new charity called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to which he pledges to give away 99 per cent of his shares in Facebook, which amounts to a $45 billion (£30bn) donation in total.

The news comes as Zuckerberg’s wife Priscilla Chan gave birth to their first born daughter, Max, on Tuesday. Publishing an open letter addressed to the baby girl, the couple – who have been married since 2012 and began dating in 2003 – explained their motives.

Writing in a statement posted to Facebook, the pair said that the aim of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be “to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation”.

They added: “Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in”.

“Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today… We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.”

Read the full letter below.

Priscilla and I are so happy to welcome our daughter Max into this world!For her birth, we wrote a letter to her about…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Zuckerberg helped launch what would later be known as Facebook during his time at Harvard University in 2004.

The computer programmer and entrepreneur was the subject of 2010 film The Social Network, in which he was portrayed by actor Jesse Eisenberg.

Zuckerberg is widely regarded as the seventh richest living American.