A Lucky Few Will Be Enriched by Facebook IPO
Stanford University alum Ezra Callahan likes hockey and has 722 Facebook friends. Among them are Sean Parker, Dustin Moskovitz and a college dropout named Mark Zuckerberg.
Those friendships are about to pay off handsomely.
That’s because Callahan is one of a small cadre of people with substantial equity stakes in Facebook Inc. He earned it working at the Menlo Park company as product manager and head of internal communications from late 2004 until mid-2010, helping run events like a 2008 New Hampshire presidential debate sponsored by Facebook.
Callahan’s slice of the pie is slim — a reported 0.08% — but given the social network’s expected valuation of up to $100 billion when it goes public this year, those hundredths of a percent add up fast. Less than a decade out from his days covering women’s volleyball for the Stanford Daily, Callahan could be depositing an extra $80 million in the bank by year’s end.
With the long-anticipated filing of Facebook’s formal registration for an initial public offering finally occurring Wednesday, enormous attention has been focused on the tens of billions of dollars that founder Zuckerberg is set to earn.
But the windfall from the IPO, which the company hopes will raise $5 billion from the sale of new shares, extends to a small network of people who live outside the tech limelight. And given the long run-up to this liquidity event, the excitement of these current and former Facebook employees and outside investors is almost palpable.
“Personally I can’t wait for the waterpark to be opened,” Slawek Biel, a software engineer who has worked at Facebook since late 2009, wrote in an online forum discussing the IPO this week.
Estimates about how many millionaires the offering will mint vary widely, with some guessing as many as 1,000. Certainly, employees and investors who got in early and managed to protect their stake will do well.