Zuckerberg moves to keep control of Facebook following record Q1 results

New shares will ensure Zuckerberg retains control of the world’s biggest social network

Facebook has announced it will create a new class of non-voting shares in a move to allow founder Mark Zuckerberg to give away his wealth while still maintaining control of the social networking behemoth.

The new proposal will give Zuckerberg the final say over decisions, and comes alongside Facebook posting a trebling of earnings on Wednesday $1.51 billion (1billion) up from $512 million year on year which hurtled its stock upwards.

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Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced plans to give away their wealth to charitable causes and a new philanthropy project focusing on human potential and equality last December.

In its announcement about the new shareholder arrangement, Facebook said it was intended to keep Zuckerberg in control, as the company believes its "future success will depend on Mark's continued leadership".

The new share structure, subject to its approval this June, will see two new shares, which come without voting rights, given to investors for every current share they own.

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg will be able to sell off his non-voting shares in the coming years, while holding onto his shares that contain voting power. This way, he will be able to reduce his stake in the company, while still maintaining majority control.

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"I'll be able to keep founder control of Facebook so we can continue to build for the long term, and Priscilla and I will be able to give our money to fund important work sooner," said Zuckerberg in a statement.

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"If this proposal goes into effect, we'll get to keep improving your Facebook experience the way we do today. And over the long term, I think you'll have better services and be part of a stronger community as a result."

Facebook's results for the three months ending on 31 March were stronger than investors expected. Shares climbed to nine per cent following the results on Wednesday, almost triple its initial public offering four years ago.

More than 1.5 billion people used Facebook by the end of 2015. That figure rose to 1.65 billion in it last results.

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