Facebook CEO reaped $2.3B gain on stock options
San Francisco • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made nearly $2.3 billion last year when he exercised 60 million stock options just before the online social networking leader's initial public offering.
The windfall detailed in regulatory documents filed Friday, also saddled Zuckerberg, 28, with a massive tax bill. He raised the money to pay it by selling 30.2 million Facebook Inc. shares for $38 apiece, or $1.1 billion, in the IPO.
Facebook's stock hasn't closed above $38 since the IPO was completed last May. The shares gained 71 cents Friday, to close at $26.85.
The 29 percent decline from Facebook's IPO price has cost Zuckerberg nearly $7 billion on paper, based on the 609.5 million shares of company stock that he owned as of March 31, according to the regulatory filing. His stake is still worth $16.4 billion.
Zuckerberg, who started Facebook in his Harvard University dorm room in 2004, has indicated he has no immediate plans to sell more stock.
Zuckerberg's stock actions had been previously disclosed, but the proxy statement filed to announce Facebook's June 11 shareholder meeting is the first time that the magnitude of Zuckerberg's option gain had been quantified.
The proxy also revealed that Zuckerberg's pay package last year rose 16 percent because of increased personal usage of jets chartered by the company as part of his security program.