Facebook executives sold $4 billion in stock last year, more than execs at other large tech firms

Key Points
  • Facebook's top executives sold stock in 2017 worth more than $4 billion, more than twice the amount of execs at the other largest U.S. tech firms.
  • WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum sold the most, a whopping $2.8 billion, more even than Jeff Bezos' $2 billion in Amazon sales.
  • Mark Zuckerberg sold $942 million and Sheryl Sandberg $316 million, their totals boosted by a 52 percent surge in Facebook's share price.
Whatsapp CEO Jan Koum
David Ramos | Getty Images

Facebook's top executives sold more than $4 billion worth of company shares last year — more than twice the amount of their counterparts at other giant technology firms — the total value boosted by a 52 percent surge in the company's stock price in 2017.

The data comes from filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission throughout the year.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg's 24 sales, part of a plan executed throughout the year, netted $942.5 million as the stock outperformed the broader market for tech shares by a wide margin.

Most of his proceeds went to fund a philanthropy, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, founded with wife Priscilla Chan.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg sold $316 million worth of shares, with all of her sales coming in the first half of 2017.

Another insider at the company sold even more. Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp and a Facebook board member, made 16 sales throughout 2017 worth a whopping $2.8 billion.

That's the most of any top executive at the five most valuable U.S. tech firms.

The only other tech leader to sell anywhere close to that amount of stock was Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who sold $2 billion worth. Bezos said in April that he sells about $1 billion a year in Amazon stock to help fund his space exploration project, Blue Origin.

Other notable sellers among the big five tech firms this year included Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who's cashed in $84.3 million of Alphabet shares, and Apple CEO Tim Cook, who sold $60 million of that stock.

Notably, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sold no shares last year, nor did Alphabet CEO Larry Page.

Here's a list of the top-selling Facebook executives for 2017:

  • Jan Koum, CEO, WhatsApp, director - $2.825 billion
  • Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and chair - $942 million
  • Sheryl Sandberg, COO, director - $316.3 million
  • Michael Schroepfer, CTO - $70.98 million
  • Chris Cox, chief product officer - $59.8 million
  • David Wehner, CFO - $14.1 million

The majority of these Facebook sales were made via regular trading plans filed with the SEC.

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