FOURTH RICHEST MAN Mark Zuckerberg Got Richer By Over $1 Billion After Facebook Fines| See How He Spends His Billions
Aug. 03, 2020
Some organizations are boycotting Facebook over the social network's lack of hate-speech moderation. The boycott is sinking both Facebook's share price and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's net worth. Zuckerberg has a net worth of $82.3 billion, making him the fourth-richest person in the world. He drives an affordable car and wears basic clothes, but appears to splurge on real estate, buying houses and then buying the surrounding properties for privacy. Mark and his wife Priscilla Chan are generous philanthropists, investing billions in childhood education and medical research that they hope will cure all diseases in their children's lifetimes.
In May 2012, eight years after its founding, Facebook debuted on the New York Stock Exchange. At the time, it was the biggest technology IPO in history. Each year since the IPO, Zuckerberg has added an average of $9 billion to his net worth. Despite his status as one of the richest tech moguls, the Harvard dropout leads a low-key lifestyle with his wife, Priscilla Chan, and their two young daughters.
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Like many other Silicon Valley stalwarts, Zuckerberg favours a uniform. Though casual in appearance, his signature gray T-shirts and hoodies are designed by luxury brands and are reportedly much more expensive than they look, retailing for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Zuckerberg is known for driving relatively inexpensive cars. He's been seen in an Acura TSX, and a Honda Fit, all of which are valued at or under $30,000. He's also been spotted driving a black Volkswagen Golf GTI, a car that he bought well into making his fortune. It's a car that would cost about $30,000 when new. But that's not to say he hasn't dropped serious cash on at least one sports car: an Italian Pagani Huayra that sells for about $1.3 million.
There's one thing Zuckerberg doesn't seem to mind splurging on: real estate. In May 2011, he bought a 5,000-square-foot home which he's since tricked out with a "custom-made artificial intelligence assistant" in Palo Alto for $7 million. The next year, Zuckerberg began buying the properties surrounding his home, spending more than $30 million to acquire four homes, with plans to level them and rebuild. He also owns a townhouse in the Mission District of San Francisco. He bought the 5,500-square-foot home in 2013 and proceeded to make over $1 million in renovations, including adding a greenhouse and remodeling the kitchen.
In 2014, the billionaire's real-estate portfolio jumped the Pacific when he spent $100 million on two properties on the island of Kauai: the Kahu'aina Plantation, a 357-acre former sugarcane plantation, and Pila'a Beach, a 393-acre property with a white-sand beach. Zuckerberg said he and Chan bought the land because they are "dedicated to preserving its natural beauty." His most recent real estate splurge was on two lakefront properties on Lake Tahoe, which cost a combined $59 million. One of the houses, called the Brushwood Estate, is 5,233 square feet and on six acres. The property features a guest house and a private dock. Between his two Lake Tahoe properties, he owns about 600 feet of private shoreline on Lake Tahoe's west shore.
When Zuckerberg buys properties, he tends to buy the other homes surrounding it for privacy reasons, just like he has done in Palo Alto. Privacy is likely the same reason that he bought the second home, and was reportedly in talks to buy a third in Lake Tahoe.
Zuckerberg doesn't appear to travel much for pleasure. But when he does travel, Facebook foots the bill. Zuckerberg's security detail and transportation cost the company nearly $5 million in 2015. However, he does occasionally get to spend time with his family while traveling. Zuckerberg and Chan met with the pope in the Vatican and reportedly gave the pope a model Facebook drone. Zuckerberg used over $1 million in Facebook funds for personal travel in 2018, making it his most expensive year yet. While in Europe, he posted about celebrating his seventh anniversary with Chan at the Parthenon in Athens.
In May 2019, he visited Paris to meet with French president Emmanuel Macron.
The costs to protect Zuckerberg rose to over $7 million in 2017, after he spent the summer traversing America as part of his personal goal to visit every US state in a year. On his whirlwind tour around the US, the CEO dined with a family at their home in Ohio, met with former opioid addicts, worked on an assembly line at a Ford factory, met with members of the military, and even fed a calf. He shared photos on Facebook of his experiences in America's heartland, and he seemed right at home.
In 2018, Facebook approved a record-high $10 million annual security budget for Zuckerberg for bodyguards, security measures for his houses, and private aircraft. Zuckerberg has complete control over Facebook's future, thanks to his majority voting rights. Facebook's stock price rose 2% after the FTC announced approval of the social media giant's $5 billion privacy settlement.
Ultimately, opulence and luxury are just a blip on Zuckerberg's radar. In fact, his main priority is giving his money away, rather than spending it. Zuckerberg is a member of the Giving Pledge, joining Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and over 100 other billionaires vowing to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. He plans to sell 99% of his Facebook shares during his lifetime. He said in September 2017 that he planned to sell 35 to 75 million shares over the next 18 months to fund the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, totaling between $6 billion and $12 billion.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a philanthropic organization Zuckerberg founded with his wife in 2015 focused on "personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people, and building strong communities."
In 2017, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative partnered with housing startup Landed, giving $5 million to help at least 60 teachers in Redwood City and East Palo Alto, California, purchase real estate.
The couple's charitable initiative is invested in tackling both local and global issues. In 2016, Zuckerberg and Chan invested $3 billion into research focused on curing the world's diseases by the end of the century. Zuckerberg believes that his nonprofit will help speed up research to cure disease, and says that in the future, "we'll basically have been able to manage or cure all of the major things that people suffer from and die from today. Based on the data that we already see, it seems like there's a reasonable shot."
Zuckerberg's leadership hasn't always been popular, however. After the billionaire refused to moderate posts by President Trump calling civil rights protesters "thugs" and suggesting violence against them by writing "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," Zuckerberg faced outrage from his employees and Facebook users alike. One employee of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative even asked Zuckerberg to resign if the billionaire didn't moderate the posts.
Led by civil rights organizations including NAACP, Color of Change, and Anti-Defamation League, Facebook advertisers revolted too, pulling their ad spending from Facebook in a coordinated boycott beginning in July. The Hershey Co., Unilever, Verizon, Honda, Birchbox, Ben & Jerry's, The North Face, REI, and Patagonia have all signed on. The growing boycott wiped $9.6 billion off Zuckerberg's net worth between June 23 and June 28.
"The investments we have made in AI mean that we find nearly 90% of Hate Speech we action before users report it to us, while a recent EU report found Facebook assessed more hate speech reports in 24 hours than Twitter and YouTube," the statement continued. "We know we have more work to do, and we'll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight."
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