Creating Facebook was a bold move, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg just proposed what he said is an even bolder one: Curing all the world's diseases.
"While helping to connect the world will always be the most important thing that I do, there are more global challenges that I also feel a responsibility to help solve, to create a better world for my daughter and all future generations," Zuckerberg told investors in a conference call Wednesday. "Things like helping to cure all disease by the end of the century."
In his spare time, Zuckerberg also hopes to upgrade the world's education system through personalization and protecting the environment from climate change, he said, as part of his Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, a humanitarian organization he founded with his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan.
In a December letter, Zuckerberg debuted the initiative, pledging to give 99 percent of his Facebook shares to humanitarian causes within his lifetime. There, he wrote that spending on medical treatments was 50 times more than investment in medical research, noting that as technology accelerates, "we have a real shot at preventing, curing or managing all or most of the rest in the next 100 years," especially heart disease, cancer, stroke, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases.
As Facebook reported quarterly earnings Wednesday, the company also unveiled a proposal to that would allow Zuckerberg to retain interest in Facebook while also selling his shares. It would work by creating a new non-voting Class C stock, issuing two new shares for each outstanding Class A and Class B share held. Zuckerberg said he won't sell more than $1 billion worth of shares each year.
"Today's board proposal would us to maintain and improve the voting structure that has served us well and allow me to fund the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative," Zuckerberg said.