Zoom founder Eric Yuan donates US$6b worth of shares

Yuan gifted almost 18 million shares of the conferencing-technology firm last week.

ERIC Yuan, chief executive officer of Zoom Video Communications Inc., donated more than a third of his stake in the company, filings show.

Yuan gifted almost 18 million shares of the conferencing-technology firm last week. The filings didn’t specify the recipient of the stock, which was owned by a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust, or GRAT, for which Yuan is a trustee.

The shares were valued at about $6 billion, based on Friday’s closing price.

The distributions are consistent with the Yuans’ "typical estate planning practices, ” a Zoom spokesman said in a statement.

Yuan, 51, joins other members of the world’s mega-rich who’ve been transferring stock recently -- including Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, who last month gave some of his Zoom holding to his businessman son Richard.

Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, has been donating shares of Amazon.com Inc. in support of a $10 billion pledge made last year to combat climate change.

Pandemic Surge

Yuan became one of the world’s wealthiest people as demand for Zoom’s main product skyrocketed during the pandemic. The stock surged almost 400% last year, but has dipped 7.8% in 2021.

He’s the world’s 130th-richest person with a pre-transfer net worth of $15.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a $9.2 billion increase since last March.

The company has also brought huge gains to other shareholders, including Tiger Global Management’s Chase Coleman and Taiwanese investor Samuel Chen. Li’s Zoom stake now represents almost one-fifth of his net worth.

Born in China, Yuan was refused a U.S. visa eight times before finally prevailing and moving to Silicon Valley. An early employee of rival video-conferencing group WebEx Communications, he founded Zoom in 2011, inspired in part by the challenges of maintaining a long-distance relationship when he was in college.

The Wall Street Journal reported the share transfer earlier Monday. - Bloomberg

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