Meta Platforms Inc.’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is poised to receive an annual payout of approximately $700 million with the introduction of the social media giant’s first-ever dividend for investors.
The announcement by Meta reveals a quarterly cash dividend of 50 cents per share for Class A and B common stock, scheduled to commence in March. Considering Zuckerberg’s ownership of around 350 million shares, he stands to gain roughly $175 million in each quarterly payment before taxes, as per Bloomberg’s data.
Meta’s decision to initiate dividend payments communicates the company’s perspective on its growth potential. Typically, rapidly expanding tech companies prefer reinvesting earnings into new product development or significant acquisitions instead of distributing dividends. Although Meta is heavily investing in artificial intelligence initiatives, its options for acquisitions are diminishing due to regulatory challenges.
Following Meta’s strategic move involving the termination of approximately 21,000 employees and a narrowing of priorities, the company’s stock nearly tripled in 2023. The introduction of the new dividend, coupled with an additional $50 billion allocated for share buybacks, aims to garner more support from investors regarding Zuckerberg’s long-term strategies focused on artificial intelligence and the metaverse.
In 2022, Zuckerberg’s total compensation amounted to $27.1 million, inclusive of private security costs and a nominal base salary of $1, according to filings. However, Meta has not yet disclosed executive compensation details for the preceding year.