Current Weather
The Spy FM

Facebook’s Early Investors May Have Much To Like

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
February 3, 2012

Facebook filed to go public this week, and many analysts expect it will be valued between $75 billion and $100 billion on the day of its initial public offering. That would make Facebook more valuable than GM, Ford even Goldman Sachs.

What’s most remarkable is the company has just barely 3,000 employees, and many of them are about to become very, very rich.

There’s this guy named David Choe. Back in the day, Facebook hired him to paint graffiti murals all over the company’s original office space in Palo Alto, Calif. Even Marc Zuckerberg got into the act.

Choe was paid for his work in stock. And according to The New York Times, that stock could soon be worth $200 million.

One of the guilty pleasures of an IPO filing is getting to peer inside a company as famous as Facebook and get a glimpse of who owns what. Of course there’s Mark Zuckerberg.

“Obviously, he should be worth a tidy $25 billion,” says Henry Blodget, editor of Business Insider and the bad-boy analyst of the last Internet boom.

This time the bad boys are becoming billionaires. Like Sean Parker.

“The man who in the movie at least said a million isn’t cool a billion is cool,” Blodget says. “And he will have several of them.”

In that movie, The Social Network, Dustin Moskowitz had little more than a cameo. He was Zuckerberg’s college roommate, but he could soon be worth $7 billion.

“If he was down the hall, we wouldn’t be talking about him,” says Michael Stern, who runs the website Who Owns Facebook. He says Moskowitz wasn’t the only winner of the roommate lottery. Zuckerberg’s prep school roommate will get a couple hundred million.

“A lot of people won the lottery here,” Blodget says, laughing.

And, Blodget says, not all of these future billionaires are boys.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg could be.

After her options vest, “she’s going to be one of the richest self-made women ever,” Blodget says.

According to its filings, Facebook has close to 1,100 stockholders. Many more could benefit from restricted stock options, but Robert Frank who writes the Wealth Report blog at the Wall Street Journal and is the author of the new book The High-Beta Rich says this doesn’t mean all these folks will become instant millionaires.

“More than half of this company is owned by just five large shareholders,” he says. “So like wealth in America, wealth at Facebook is very top heavy, concentrated in just a few people at the top.”

In Silicon Valley, it’s become conventional wisdom that Facebook’s IPO will create 1,000 new millionaires. And while that may well be true, Frank says it’s impossible to know for sure.

Even those with a lot of shares will see their wealth fluctuate widely. So the number of millionaires may change on any given day during the next year or two. After all this is a tech stock, and Franks says all this wealth is just on paper — at least for now. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

Listen Live Now!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

11AM to 12PM The Story

The Story

The Story with Dick Gordon brings the news home through first-person accounts. The live weekday program is passionate, personal, immediate and relevant to listeners, focusing on the news where it changes our lives, causes us to stop and rethink, inspires us.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center