Zoom CEO Eric Yuan donates $6 billion of shares

The company's founder is the world’s 130th-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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

Mr Yuan gifted almost 18 million shares of the conferencing-technology firm last week. The filings didn’t specify the recipient of the stock, which were 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.

Mr Yuan, 51, joins other members of the world’s mega-rich who’ve been transferring stock recently. Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, has been donating shares of Amazon in support of a $10bn pledge made last year to combat climate change.

Mr 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 per cent last year, but has dipped 7.8 per cent in 2021.

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

The company has also brought huge gains to other shareholders including Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, Tiger Global Management’s Chase Coleman and Taiwanese investor Samuel Chen.

Born in China, Mr Yuan was refused a US 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.