Washington D.C., USA – After offering an apology at the US Senate online child safety hearing, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a surprising announcement: Facebook will issue its first ever dividend, potentially making certain shareholders incredibly wealthy.
In February, a Meta press release attributed the tech giant’s 2023 business growth to the completion of data center initiatives, laying off nearly 10,000 employees, and advancing AI and the metaverse. This “Year of Efficiency,” as coined by Zuckerberg in March 2023, appears to be paying off handsomely for shareholders.
According to the February press release, Meta’s board of directors declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share of Class A and Class B common stock, with the first dividend payment expected on March 26, 2024. Notably, the company’s top shareholders, including key individuals and institutions, are anticipated to benefit substantially from this move.
This decision to distribute dividends is unusual for a tech company, and it has the potential to create a ripple effect in the industry. According to investing spokesperson Elizabeth Ayoola, dividends are payments made by companies to stockholders periodically, providing passive income for investors. Despite not being the highest dividends, there is potential for future growth, potentially leading to increased dividend payments for consumers.
The move to distribute dividends is reflective of Meta’s growth as a company, according to former Stash fintech executive Fazal Yameen. This shift from its norm of holding onto large cash reserves to acquire other companies or fund research and development signals a maturation of the company.
In conclusion, Meta’s decision to offer dividends can potentially impact other tech companies, particularly those specializing in AI. This move underlines a challenge to other companies to follow suit and signifies the potential for AI to transform the world.