Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, welcomed a baby girl Tuesday. Zuckerberg announced the birth of his daughter, Max, on Facebook.
But that wasn’t the Facebook CEO’s only announcement.
The couple pledged to give 99 percent of their Facebook shares to “join many others in improving this world for the next generation.” Together, the couple’s shares currently amount to $45 billion.
Chan gave birth to a 7-pound, 8-ounce daughter last week. But the couple didn’t put out the news until Tuesday.
In a letter to their new daughter, Zuckerberg and Chan outlined their hopes for the newest member of their family, and their intention to make a difference.
“Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today,” the letter says. “We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.”
They are forming a new organization, called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, that will pursue those goals through a combination of charitable donations, private investment and promotion of government-policy reform.
Zuckerberg promised to release more details in the future. But he said the couple will transfer most of their wealth to the initiative “during our lives.” In a statement, Facebook described the initiative as not a foundation but “a limited liability company controlled by Mark and Priscilla.”
The Facebook co-founder and chief executive is one of the world’s wealthiest men. He and Chan, a pediatrician, have previously donated large sums to public schools in Newark, New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area, along with the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where Chan did her medical training.
But Zuckerberg told the Associated Press in an interview last month that he has no plans to step down as CEO of Facebook. In a statement, the company also said the couple’s plan to transfer their shares over time won’t affect his status as controlling shareholder of the company.
In addition, Zuckerberg has committed to dispose of no more than $1 billion of Facebook stock every year for the next three years, the company said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.