Zoom boss transfers $6B in stock to 'unspecified recipients'

CEO Eric Yuan was the company’s biggest shareholder with a 15% stake

Zoom Video Communications Inc. founder Eric Yuan transferred roughly 40% of his ownership in the company he runs, a stake valued at about $6 billion, after Zoom’s shares more than tripled last year.

The transaction was recorded as two gifts of nearly 9 million shares apiece, to unspecified recipients and from two trusts for which Mr. Yuan and his wife are co-trustees, according to a securities filing made late on Friday.

In a statement, a Zoom spokeswoman said “the distributions were made in accordance with the terms of Eric Yuan and his wife’s trusts, and are consistent with the Yuans’s typical estate planning practices.” The company didn’t say who now controls the shares. Mr. Yuan and his wife didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.


Mr. Yuan was the company’s biggest shareholder with a 15% stake in the value of the company and about 40% of the company’s voting power before last week’s transactions, according to InsiderScore, which analyzes stock transactions by corporate insiders. The gifts amounted to about 6% of the company’s shares outstanding, InsiderScore said.

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The Covid-19 pandemic turned Zoom’s video-meeting service into a household name and the company into an investor darling. The company’s success landed the 51-year-old entrepreneur on the Forbes magazine list of billionaires, and he was named Time magazine’s Businessperson of the Year in December.

Zoom’s share price, which rallied from below $100 in early 2020 to above $500 in late 2020, closed around $337 on Friday. The stock fell about 8% in Monday afternoon trading. The San Jose, Calif., company has a market valuation around $100 billion.

Born in China, Mr. Yuan worked as an engineer at Cisco Systems Inc. before leaving to start Zoom in 2011. He took it public in a splashy IPO in 2019 and like some other tech founders kept outsize control with supervoting shares.


Two trusts bearing the names of Mr. Yuan and his wife—and for which the couple are co-trustees—gave about 18 million shares to unspecified recipients on March 3, according to the securities filing. The trusts had held the stock as Class B shares, which get 10 votes apiece, that could be converted to Class A shares, which have a single vote.

“He converted Class B to Class A to do this so that greatly impacts his voting power,” said Ben Silverman, InsiderScore’s director of research. After the transactions, the CEO’s voting power appears to have declined to just short of 27%, InsiderScore estimated.

After reporting results last week, Zoom executives said they expected strong growth to continue this year even as lockdowns eased and vaccines rolled out across the globe. The company said revenue this year would rise more than 41% after more than quadrupling to $2.65 billion in the fiscal year ended in January.

“The future is here with the rise of remote and work from anywhere change. We recognize this new reality, “ Mr. Yuan said in an earnings call.