San Francisco, Dec 2: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today announced the birth of his first child as he and his wife pledged to give away 99 per cent of his company shares currently worth a whopping USD 45 billion to make the world a "better place" for daughter Maxima and other children.
In a letter to the baby who he lovingly addresses as Max posted on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said: "We're so happy to welcome our daughter Max into this world.Everyone is happy and healthy. Thank you for all your love and support through our pregnancy. There is so much joy in our little family."
His wife Priscilla Chan gave birth to the 7-pound, 8-ounce Max last week but the 31-year-old newly-turned father posted the news on Facebook only today along with a photo of him with wife and the baby besides the letter written jointly by the parents to "about the world we hope she grows up in".
"It's a world where our generation can advance human potential and promote equality - by curing disease, personalising learning, harnessing clean energy, connecting people, building strong communities, reducing poverty, providing equal rights and spreading understanding across nations. "
We are committed to doing our small part to help create this world for all children. We will give 99 per cent of our Facebook shares - currently about USD 45 billion - during our lives to join many others in improving this world for the next generation," he said in the post.
The donation - which they call "a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation - of most of their fortune would not happen right away.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Zuckerberg plans to "sell or gift" no more than USD 1 billion worth of Facebook stock every year over the next three years.
The California-based social network's filing also indicates that Zuckerberg plans to contribute the funds to a new initiative called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to "advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation".
The Facebook co-founder will continue to control the voting rights of any shares held by that organisation. "Max, we love you and feel a great responsibility to leave the world a better place for you and all children. We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us. We can't wait to see what you bring to this world," the letter said.
"As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Our initial areas of focus will be personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities," it said.
The announcement found strong appreciation from the business and charity community alike, with Microsoft co- founder Bill Gates' wife Melinda Gates saying: "Wow. The example you're setting today is an inspiration to us and the world".