Mark Zuckerberg halts Facebook share sales amid stock rout: Report

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg temporarily halted plans to sell billions of dollars in company stock in the fourth quarter as the embattled social media company contended with various obstacles, according to a report Thursday.

Zuckerberg, who has joined other billionaires in pledging to give away the majority of his personal fortune to philanthropic causes during his lifetime, did not sell a single Facebook share in the quarter, according to Bloomberg. That marked the first time in two years that Zuckerberg has not sold shares in a given quarter.

Facebook shares have been under pressure since last spring, when the social media platform admitted that a breach had exposed private information of up to 87 million users. The company’s stock briefly rallied, but has fallen by nearly 40 percent since hitting record highs last July amid unprecedented scrutiny of Facebook’s internal practices. Broader market pressure on tech stocks in the final weeks of 2018 depressed the sector even further.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Zuckerberg’s stock sales.

Zuckerberg has already sold shares worth $5.6 billion since announcing plans in September 2017 to sell between 35 million and 75 million shares over the following 18 months. Bloomberg noted that the stock sales were scheduled in advance and are likely subject to limits related to Facebook’s stock price or sale volume.

Facebook shares lost more than 25 percent in 2018, the first down year since the company went public in 2012.