He can now officially change his surname to Zuckerbucks. With his 28.2 percent ownership in Facebook, the paper wealth of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg now serves as an eternal rejoinder to the legion of armchair critics--and where are they now?--who thought that the then-22-year-old was bull goose loony for rejecting Yahoo's $1 billion buyout offer in 2006. Maybe they should ask the same question of Yahoo's former CEO, Terry Semel, who reportedly refused to up the offer for the up-and-coming social network.
Little did he--or the rest of us--know. But Zuckerberg was determined to stick it out and stay true to his vision for Facebook. Has being right ever been so sweet?
Russian tycoon Yuri Milner, seen here at the Web 2.0 Summit in 2010, is already reaping big gains from previous investments in social media stars Zynga and Groupon. Now he's going to add to that pot as various Miner-controlled companies own an estimated 5.4 percent of Facebook.
For those who fretted that Eduardo Saverin had come out with the short end of the stick after watching "The Social Network"--he initially received a 30 percent ownership stake--don't worry. Saverin, one of the company co-founders, still came out nicely though his precise ownership share in Facebook wasn't available in the Facebook S1.
In 2004, it wasn't clear that Facebook would become the world-beater it subsequently would become. Myspace was dominating the social-networking world back then, but Peter Thiel nonetheless plunked down $500,000 and now holds a 2.5 percent stake in the company. Smart-- very smart--move.
A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A pre-IPO stake in Facebook for Sean Parker that was estimated at 4 percent. The exact tally wasn't listed in the S-1 but it's likely more than enough to bankroll a sequel to "The Social Network." Heck, with that kind of payday why not buy your own studio?
Steve Ballmer wanted Microsoft to buy Facebook in 2007 but Mark Zuckerberg wasn't interested in giving up the reins. So Microsoft's CEO got the next best thing for his company: a 1.6 percent stake in return for a $240 million investment. It may rank as one of Microsoft's smartest moves in the last decade.
Wait--what's Bono doing in this gallery? Well, it turns out that the U2 front man, seen here in 2009, also is part of the Elevation Partners investment group, which has a reported 1.5 percent stake in Facebook. The return should more than salve the painful reminders of the firm's less stellar investments in Palm and Forbes magazine.
Another VC firm that came out a big winner, Greylock Partners was reported to own a 1.5 percent stake in Facebook (though it was below the minimum threshold to be listed in the S-1). Pictured: Greylock Partners' Reid Hoffman.