Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has declared its first-ever quarterly dividend, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg anticipated to receive around $700 million annually, as reported by Bloomberg.
The company announced a cash dividend of 50 pence per share for Class A and B common stock, starting in March. Based on Zuckerberg’s ownership of approximately 350 million shares, each quarterly payout before taxes is estimated at about $175 million, according to Bloomberg’s data.
This move is a notable departure from the typical strategy of rapidly expanding tech firms, which often forgo dividends to reinvest earnings in new products or acquisitions. It reflects Meta’s perspective on its growth potential despite regulatory challenges affecting its acquisition strategies.
The dividend announcement follows Meta’s robust financial performance, reporting $40 billion in revenues for the final quarter of the previous year, with quarterly profits tripling to $14 billion. The company also initiated a $50 billion share buyback, aiming to garner more support from investors for Zuckerberg’s long-term commitments to artificial intelligence and the metaverse.
Zuckerberg, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on online child safety, is set to benefit significantly from these dividends. The CEO expressed condolences to families during the hearing and faced questions about Meta’s platforms’ impact on young users. The company is currently facing legal challenges, including a lawsuit from dozens of states, alleging that it designs features that addict children to its platforms.
In 2022, Zuckerberg’s total compensation amounted to $27.1 million, including private security costs and a nominal base salary of $1. However, details for the past year’s executive compensation are yet to be disclosed by Meta. The company’s spokesperson has declined to comment on the matter.