On the tenth anniversary of Facebook, the founders and shareholders of the world’s largest online social network have a lot to celebrate.
Last week’s fourth quarter results put extra shine on a buoyant six months for the world’s most famous social network. Since the end of last July, Facebook’s stock price has more than doubled from around US$30 to US$61.53 on 30 January 2014. The earnings announcement published on 29 January drove the stock price up an additional 15 percent on strong mobile advertising revenues for 2013.
Among the four Facebook co-founders –chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin and Chris Hughes, all have become ultra wealthy individuals off the back of the initial public offering in 2012 and subsequent leaps in stock price. Here Wealth-X takes a look at where they are now, ten years on.
As primary shareholder of the social network, college-drop out Zuckerberg became Facebook’s first billionaire at the age of 23, in 2008. Since then his net worth has soared to US$29.7 billion, according to Wealth-X, with an extra fillip of US$3.1 billion off the back of the firm’s 2013 Q4 earnings. At 29 years old, Zuckerberg’s current fortune equates to more than US$1 billion for every year he has lived. He has common stock and options in Facebook comprising around 95 percent of his net worth, and last year reportedly bought four houses near his Palo Alto residence for US$30 million, based on rumors that a developer wanted to purchase one of them and market it as being near his house.
Last month Zuckerberg helped to fund immigration advocacy group Fwd.us’s 10-day national campaign of television and radio advertisements. The campaign calls for the reformation of the US immigration system.
Like Hughes, co-founder Dustin Moskovitz has turned to other ventures since Facebook. Thanks to the stock jump in the last six months, the 29-year-old now has a net worth of US$7.8 billion according to Wealth-X, Moskovitz left Facebook in 2008 to form a new venture called Asana, a productivity app that he founded with fellow employee, Justin Rosenstein. Around 97 percent of his assets are still tied up in Facebook stock and just US$40 million, or 0.5 percent, are derived from Asana. Florida-born Moskovitz also has angel investments in start-ups including as Path, FlipBoard, NationBuilder, Organizer, Venmo and Top Prospect according to Wealth-X data. Moskovitz signed the Giving Pledge in December 2010 and last year reportedly formed a charitable foundation, Good Ventures, with his wife Cari Tuna.
The oldest co-founder, 31-year-old Eduardo Saverin, now lives in Singapore after renouncing his US citizenship in 2011. He has a net worth of around US$4 billion, 82 percent of which is derived from his stake in Facebook. The Brazilian-born Saverin met Zuckerberg in his junior year at Harvard and agreed to help co-found Thefacebook.com project, handling business matters in exchange for a third of the company. After a falling-out made famous in the movie ‘The Social Network’, Saverin eventually sued Facebook for an undisclosed amount; the case was settled out of court, with Saverin reportedly receiving a 5 percent stake in Facebook and signing a non-disclosure agreement. He has since invested in excess of US$5 million in several early stage tech start-ups including Jumio and Qwiki.
Thirty-year-old Hughes has a net worth of around US$400 million according to sources close to him. He owns a luxury apartment in New York.
He has less than the other founders because he exercised nearly all of his stock options. Apart from his remaining options in Facebook, a large portion of his assets is tied up with the magazine he bought a majority share of in 2012, The New Republic, for which he now works as publisher and editor-in-chief. He quit Facebook in 2007 to become the coordinator of online marketing for US president Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. After the Obama campaign, Hughes joined PR firm GMMB as an advisor and also spent a year of traveling in Africa, Asia and Latin America. His latest venture is a non-profit site called Jumo, which means “together in concert” in Yoruba, a West African language. Hughes is gay and married his long-term boyfriend Sean Eldridge in June 2012.