Mark Zuckerberg is an American programmer, founder of the world's largest social network Facebook. In 2021, he announced that Facebook would rebrand to Meta. Currently, Mark Zuckerberg is CEO of this project.
Zuckerberg's net worth was estimated at approximately $68 billion.
Mark Zuckerberg was born on May 14, 1984 in White Plains (New York). His interest in developing computer-aided software arose at the age of 10 when his father gave him a PC as a present. Besides, his father taught him the basic elements of Atari BASIC, a computer language used by programmers. In 1996, 12-year-old Mark created the first software product called ZuckNet, which allowed members of his family to communicate over a local network.
In 2002, a young man entered Harvard University at the Faculty of Psychology, but, at the same time, he got better at programming. He attended computer science courses and continued to create his own projects. In his second year he abandoned a course of study as he wanted Facebook to be the center of his attention.
The Winklevoss twins decided to create a social network for students "HarvardConnection" in December 2002. They hired Mark Zuckerberg and explained the idea they had in mind. Meanwhile, using Facemash (his own project) software principles, Mark Zuckerberg developed a masterpiece — Facebook social network, which expanded the channels of communication between Harvard students. In 2004, the twins took legal action against Mark Zuckerberg for intellectual property theft. The parties concluded a settlement agreement only in February 2008, but in May 2010, the Winklevoss twins claimed that compensation was calculated at a significantly underestimated value of Facebook shares and they requested additional payments from Zuckerberg. However, the court answered in the negative.
Mark Zuckerberg succeeded in many spheres. Below are listed his greatest achievements.
The process of IPO and acquisitions. The first investor of Facebook was Peter Thiel, who invested $500,000 and held 10.2% of the shares. The company received venture capital investments in 2005. Yahoo!, an American web services provider, attempted to purchase a social network. However, they failed to do it.
The world-famous social network went public in 2014, when the company's market value was $104 billion. The offering price was $38. During the IPO, investors bought stocks at a total price of $16 billion. 33 companies were engaged in the process of going public.
Mark Zuckerberg claimed that he was going to combine all of his acquisitions of recent years, including Instagram, WhatsApp and other brands, into a single virtual universe – the metaverse. He didn’t approve that his company was perceived only as a social network. Facebook began to develop this project in 2014, when it acquired the manufacturer of virtual reality glasses Oculus VR for $ 2 billion.
Charitable donations. Philanthropy is considered to be one of the basic American values. And Mark Zuckerberg is known for his philanthropy and initiatives. In 2010, when the number of Facebook users exceeded 100 million, Mark donated $100 million to repair and modernize public schools in Newark, the largest city of New Jersey.
In 2012, when Facebook went public and their wedding took place, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan donated almost $500 million to charity.
On December 1, 2015, Mark and Priscilla had their first daughter, Maxima. That was the day when Mark Zuckerberg published an open letter on Facebook. The billionaire announced the establishment of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CSI), a philanthropic organization. The couple promised to donate 99% of their wealth during their lifetime.
Sale of personal information. The company's services collect a large amount of data about their users to optimize targeting. In 2016, Facebook got into trouble because of incorrect data usage - this information could be used to influence the votes in the US presidential election.
According to the New York Times (NYT), in 2015, Alexander Kogan, a professor of psychology at Cambridge University, used a survey that he created on Facebook, to forward a huge amount of users’ personal data to Cambridge Analytica. Kogan's survey received users' data with their permission, and, moreover, survey respondents received incentive payments for it. However, Kogan violated Facebook’s policies, as he forwarded the personal information collected on the social network without their permission.
The news caused damage to a firm's reputation. According to the results of the trading session on March 19, the stock prices dropped by almost 7%. On March 21, Zuckerberg publicly apologized for the data privacy scandal on CNN. He promised to do everything he could to prevent new leaks of users' personal data.