Mark Zuckerberg may be considered as one of the biggest and richest CEOs in the world, but he may donate 99 percent of his Facebook shares for charity. Despite this, a new stock scheme may keep him in control of the social media site he established a few years ago, and here's how it will work.
On April 27, Facebook announced that it will be forming a new group of non-voting shares. This plan will let Zuckerberg give away much of his wealth to charity, a plan he announced in late 2015. Though left with a little money compared to what he is worth now, he doesn't plan to give up any control of the social media network he founded.
What Does the Class C Scheme Mean?
At present, Facebook has two types of shares, Class A wherein shares entitle shareholders to one vote per share and Class B, which will allow 10 votes per share.
Zuckerberg owns about 422 million shares of the company and his assets, including those from Facebook amounts to $50.8 billion. He has currently ultimate control over Facebook not just because he owns much of the company's shares, but also since he has special "Class B" shares.
He owns roughly 4 million Facebook Class A shares and 468 million Class B shares, giving him a voting power of about 60 percent.
The new scheme, which will add a non-voting Class C, will allow shareholders to have a dividend of two non-voting Class C shares for every Class A or Class B shares they possess.
Once the scheme is approved, the non-voting Class C shares will be publicly listed and traded, but it doesn't have any voting power. For every share they have, two non-voting shares will be given to Facebook.
Even if it seems unique, it's commonly used by companies, especially in the technology industry. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, also practices the non-voting shares trade.
How Will This Make Zuckerberg Still In Control Of Facebook
Facebook is by far one of the most successful social media companies across the globe. It has at least one billion users from different countries.
"Today, Facebook's board of directors is proposing the creation of a new class of publicly listed, non-voting Class C capital stock to ensure that the company maintains this long-term focus," said Colin Stretch, general counsel, Facebook, Inc.
The new scheme will allow the company to focus on Zuckerberg's future and long-term vision for Facebook. A big part of Facebook's success has stemmed from his leadership and management. He will continue to be involved with Facebook as its leader and the scheme will help mitigate succession risk.
The point of this plan is making the owner of the company keep control of management and leadership. If he will continue to give away much of his wealth to charity, this would dilute much of his shares and eventually, his voting power. If the scheme will be approved by shareholders, this will allow Zuckerberg to donate his money without worrying about losing control of Facebook.
Facebook Remains Top Social Media Site
Facebook remains on the top spot as it touched a record high of $120.79 on April 28, up to 7.2 percent at $116.73. This gave about a $22 billion boost to the company's market value.
"FB remains in a class by itself across the combination of scale, growth, and profitability," Doug Anmuth said, J.P. Morgan Securities analyst. "While there are broader concerns of macro softness toward the end of 1Q, Facebook isn't seeing them."
Economic analysts do not see the growth of Facebook slowing down anytime soon. It owns a bigger share of the advertising market, especially on mobile devices and smartphones.
Photo: Andrew Feinberg | Flickr