September 24, 2010

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg to Donate $100 Million to Newark Schools

Mark Zuckerberg is certainly one of the more controversial figures in Silicon Valley. Facebook's early days, which have been made into a highly-anticipated Hollywood movie, don't paint a pretty picture.

But Zuckerberg's latest move seems to contradict all you've heard about him, the world's youngest billionaire is said to be donating $100 million out of his own pocket to the Newark, New Jersey school system.

Zuckerberg is expected to make the announcement tomorrow on the Oprah Winfrey television talk show. He will be present along with Gov. Chris Christie and Mayor Cory A. Booker on the show to make the announcement.

The Governor will also announce the transfer of some control over the school system to the mayor. The region has one of the worst performing school systems in the US and the Governor's office took over from the local authorities in the mid nighties.

Zuckerberg has no connection to the region but seems to have gotten involved after being won over by Mayor Booker. He has made donations in the past, but this is by far the biggest and most important.

Zuckerberg will set up a foundation to handle the money and the project. It is unclear how the money will be distributed and over which period.

The $100 million will come in the form of Facebook stock which will be sold on the secondary markets. While Zuckerberg was recently listed as US' 35th richest person, worth $6.9 billion, the vast majority of that comes from his stake in Facebook.

The social network is valued at close to $25 billion, more by some sources, but it's largely hypothetical until the company is publicly traded.

Zuckerberg move comes on the same day as the premier of The Social Network movie which depicts him in less than flattering ways.

No comments: