Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is to take paternity leave following the imminent birth of his daughter.
The 31-year-old multi-billionaire announced that he would take two months off to be with his wife Priscilla Chan. Her pregnancy was announced in July, following a series of miscarriages, but her due date is a closely guarded secret.
Facebook offers its American employees up to four months of fully paid paternity leave, which is regarded as uncommonly generous by standards across the pond. Many Silicon Valley tech firms have rushed to follow suit, but it’s thought that many workers don’t take full advantage of this paid leave, for fear of missing out on promotion or being out of the loop in some other way.
In a Facebook post published last Friday, Zuckerberg said:
“This is a very personal decision, and I’ve decided to take two months of paternity leave when our daughter arrives.
“Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families.”
He did not say who would be running the company while he was away, and this did not sit well with investors; stocks dipped by 0.6% following his announcement.
It’s generally unusual for high-level executives to take leave following the birth of a child; in 2002, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, took only two weeks off when she had her first child, and when she announced that she was pregnant with twins in September, indicated that her maternity leave would be “limited”.