Mark Zuckerberg: How much does he make and what does he stand to gain from IPO?

February 2, 2012

It’s no secret that Facebook’s 27-year old founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is a wealthy man. With an estimated net worth of $17.5 billion, he was ranked 52nd on Forbes 2011 list of the world’s richest people. The IPO paperwork that the social-networking site filed on Wednesday provided more insight into just how much he’s pulling in and how much he might gain from the initial public offering. Hayley Tsukayama reports:

The base salaries for all of Facebook’s top executives were divulged in the company’s Wednesday S-1 filing. Here’s how it broke down:

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO: Zuckerberg made a salary of $483,333 in 2011, in addition to a $220,500 bonus for the first half of 2011. He also received “other” compensation — which covers such things as chartered travel costs and security details — that totaled $783,529. Overall, Zuckerberg received $1,487,362 for 2011, excluding his substantial stake in the company.

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, Zuckerberg will reduce his base annual salary to $1.

Bloomberg News examines how Zuckerberg’s wealth could compare to other Silicon Valley titans:

Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering may value Mark Zuckerberg’s stake at $28.4 billion, making him richer than Google Inc.’s co-founders and almost on par with Larry Ellison, who started Oracle Corp. 35 years ago.

The 27-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Facebook is the company’s top stakeholder as it prepares to go public, with 533.8 million shares, or 28.4 percent, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. Investment firms Accel Partners and Digital Sky Technologies own a combined 16.8 percent.

Facebook said in its prospectus that it plans to raise as much as $5 billion in an IPO. The Menlo Park, California-based company is discussing a valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion, two people familiar with the matter said last week. At the top end of that range, Zuckerberg will own stock worth $28.4 billion. His command of the company goes beyond stock -- he controls 56.9 percent of the voting power.

“It looks from this as if Zuckerberg is maintaining a lot of control,” said Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at Altimeter Group in New York. “He’s shown a great deal of wisdom and maturity in bringing the company to this level of stability and profitability before going public.”

By comparison, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page are each worth more than $15 billion based on their ownership of that company’s shares. Ellison, 67, owns stock worth about $31 billion in Oracle, the software company he founded in 1977.

Some analysts are questioning whether Zuckerberg’s grip on the company is too tight. Bloomberg News reports:

Mark Zuckerberg’s majority control over Facebook Inc. puts too much power in the hands of one person and may deter potential investors in the company’s initial public offering, corporate-governance experts said.

The chief executive officer has 56.9 percent of voting power, the Menlo Park, California-based company said yesterday in its prospectus to investors. He also has the ability to designate a successor in the event he still controls the company at the time of his death, Facebook said in the filing.

The 27-year-old, who co-founded Facebook in his dorm room eight years ago, has retained authority over strategy -- even after adding business veterans to the board, including venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Washington Post Co. CEO Donald Graham. Zuckerberg’s control means directors and shareholders will have less sway over the company’s direction, said Charles Elson, a University of Delaware corporate-governance professor.

“The public has no say in the control of the board, which in my view is terribly harmful to any notion of accountability,” Elson said. “It’s very troubling to investors, and it’s a bad bet for them.”

Larry Yu, a spokesman for Facebook, declined to comment.

Zuckerberg owns 28.4 percent of Facebook, the largest single stake in the company, and he extended his voting power by implementing a dual-class stock structure in 2009. That gives him shares with 10 times more voting power than common stock, according to the filing. The CEO also gained voting power through agreements with individual stockholders. He owns an “irrevocable proxy” over those shares, Facebook said.

After Facebook’s IPO, shareholders other than Zuckerberg will have “a majority economic position and a minority voting position,” Elson said.

Technology companies such as Google Inc., Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc. also concentrated voting power in one or more founders before selling shares to the public. Though the practice reins in the power of investors, it can assure them that companies will stay the course set by visionary leaders, said David Eaton, vice president of proxy research at corporate- governance advisory firm Glass, Lewis & Co. in San Francisco.

“It’s been the case in the last 10 to 15 years that technology companies have typically not incorporated as many shareholder rights,” Eaton said. “The founders who are bringing these companies public want to protect their interest.”

Still, the practice can limit shareholders’ ability to influence management in such areas as executive compensation, he said.

More from The Washington Post:

What the filing reveals about Facebook’s feelings on China

Facebook’s reach: 845 million and counting

What happens if Mark Zuckerberg were to die?

Facebook site briefly down for some users

How does Facebook make its money?

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