Mark Zuckerberg chose to not sell a single Facebook share in the last quarter of 2018. According to a Bloomberg report, this was the first quarter in more than two years that he didn’t sell any shares.
In September 2017, Zuckerberg announced that he would sell 35 million to 75 million Facebook shares over 18 months to fund the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which he runs with his wife, Priscilla. The Initiative aims to fight inequality and bring about change through technology via investments in areas such as health and education.
The share transactions were scheduled through a 10b5-1 trading plan, and, since his announcement, Zuckerberg has sold about 30.4 million shares’ worth for around $5.6 billion.
However, Facebook’s shares have fallen about 38 percent since July, after the company was hit with a series of scandals. Last year, it was discovered that the now-defunct political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica accessed the data on 87 million Facebook users without their consent.
Federal agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) — are looking into the breach, and Zuckerberg was grilled on Capitol Hill about it over the course of two days. The social media giant has admitted to Congress that it provided companies with special access to user data.
In addition, the company revealed in September that around 50 million of its users had their data exposed through an attack on its network. Furthermore, a bug, discovered in November, gave websites access to information from a user’s profile without their knowledge.
Just this week, Zuckerberg noted that he was “proud of the progress” his company has made to stop election interference, prevent the spread of hate speech and misinformation, and give users more control over their personal data.
“We’re a very different company today than we were in 2016, or even a year ago,” he wrote. “To be clear, addressing these issues is more than a one-year challenge. … For some of these issues, like election interference or harmful speech, the problems can never fully be solved.”