Meta Platforms Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is poised to receive a substantial annual payout of approximately $700 million following the announcement of the social media giant’s inaugural dividend for investors.
Meta disclosed a quarterly cash dividend of 50 cents per share for Class A and B common stock, effective from March onwards. Given Zuckerberg’s ownership of about 350 million shares, he is expected to net around $175 million in each quarterly payment before taxes, as per data compiled by Bloomberg.
This strategic move by Meta to initiate dividend payments signifies the company’s confidence in its growth potential. Traditionally, rapidly expanding tech firms often avoid dividends, preferring to reinvest earnings into new product development or costly acquisitions. Although Meta is channeling significant resources into artificial intelligence endeavors, regulatory challenges are limiting its acquisition opportunities.
Following Meta’s restructuring, which involved the termination of approximately 21,000 employees and a refocusing of priorities, the company’s stock nearly tripled in 2023. The introduction of the dividend, coupled with an additional $50 billion earmarked for share buybacks, aims to cultivate patience from investors regarding Zuckerberg’s long-term investments in artificial intelligence and the metaverse.
Zuckerberg’s total compensation in 2022 amounted to $27.1 million, encompassing private security costs and a nominal base salary of $1, according to filings. Executive compensation details for the past year are yet to be reported by Meta, and the company declined to provide any comments on the matter.