Facebook's Zuckerberg to take two months off for daughter's birth

The CEO of the world's largest social network has been unusually public about his and his wife's experiences conceiving and preparing for their child. Now he's talking about how he'll juggle his job as well.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
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Facebook's CEO, right, said in July that he'll be a father.

Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg plans to take two months off to spend with his daughter when she's born.

That's the message the Facebook CEO posted on his account Friday, telling the nearly 42 million people who follow him that he'll be taking about half the four months Facebook typically offers to new parents. (By comparison, Netflix allows up to a year, Google up to 18 weeks and Microsoft 12 weeks). Facebook policy allows him take another two months during the first year of his daughter's life.

"Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families," he said. About an hour after the post went up, it had garnered nearly 70,000 likes.

Despite being one of the world's richest people, or perhaps because of it, Zuckerberg is typically guarded about his personal life. Over the past few years, he's typically posted on his Facebook profile about his work, his philanthropy and his dog, Beast.

That began to change this year, when he set a personal challenge of reading a book every other week for the year, a project he called the "Year of Books." He's used it as a platform to discuss education, politics and the larger technology industry.

In July, he announced that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were expecting their first child, a girl. As part of the announcement, he discussed the challenges they faced while trying to conceive, including three miscarriages. "Most people don't discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you -- as if you're defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own," he wrote at the time.

He's generally been more open about his family since, discussing his future daughter in public appearances and talking about the role technology will have in the Zuckerberg home.

Zuckerberg isn't the only Silicon Valley executive who's discussed pregnancy and early childhood publicly. Marissa Mayer announced she was expecting her first child when she was named Yahoo's CEO in 2012. At the time, she was criticized for returning to work just two weeks after the birth of her son. In August, she said she planned to follow a similar plan with her twin girls, expected to arrive in December.

Zuckerberg hasn't said when his daughter is due.