Mark Zuckerberg cashed in on his company’s 2023 stock rally in a big way, selling nearly $428 million worth of shares in Meta Platforms Inc. over the final two months of the year. The META co-founder and chief executive offloaded just under 1.8 million shares over the course of every trading day between Nov. 1 and the end of last year, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg pocketed nearly half a billion dollars after selling his company’s shares nearly every day during the last two months of 2023 — a move that coincided with a massive rebound in the Facebook and Instagram parent’s stock price. The Facebook founder sold a total of nearly 1.28 million shares to secure a $428 million windfall amid Meta’s 194% spike last year, according to regulatory filing. It was the first time that Zuckerberg sold stock since November 2021, according to Bloomberg, which first reported on the moves.
Even after the sales, Zuckerberg still owns about 13% of Meta shares, the outlet said. His personal fortune is estimated to be $125 billion, placing him seventh on Bloomberg’s Billionaires index. The IRS will take a significant chunk of Zuckerberg’s proceeds. The billionaire’s stock sales are subject to the federal capital gains tax of approximately 24%, as well as an additional 13.3% state tax in California, where Zuckerberg maintains a $37 million estate. Meta shares slumped to a seven-year low in 2022 as Zuckerberg spent billions on a widely panned shift toward the metaverse. But the company rebounded last year as the executive ordered a major cost-cutting spree that included thousands of layoffs and shifted company resources toward the artificial intelligence boom. Meta shares were flat in trading Thursday. Meta is one of the so-called “Magnificent Seven” tech stocks that drove a major stock market rally to close out last year.
The company’s stock sputtered a bit in early December when news of Zuckerberg’s selling spree first surfaced, but they still finished more than 5% higher for the full month. It’s unclear if Zuckerberg has a specific plan in mind for the cash. In December, the tech outlet wired reported that Zuckerberg was building a massive $100 million compound on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The secretive complex reportedly includes an underground bunker, at least 30 bedrooms and bathrooms and comes equipped with its own food and energy sources. Zuckerberg has also spent plenty of time and money of his favourite pastime of mixed martial arts training — even winning two medals at his first-ever Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament last last May. At one point, Zuckerberg challenged fellow tech billionaire Elon Musk to a “cage match,” but the bout never materialised. Zuckerberg’s athletic ambitions were dealt a setback in November after he tore his ACL during training . The injury required surgery. New York Post