Exactly 20 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg and his four Harvard classmates and roommates—Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes—launched thefacebook.com, a website where college students could post information about themselves, exchange messages and befriend one another online. thefacebook.com was built upon a website Zuckerberg had created a year prior, called Facemash, which allowed Harvard students to judge the attractiveness of their fellow students.
The founding story of Facebook (Meta (META)) was so full of drama that it inspired the 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires and its subsequent film adaptation, The Social Network in 2010. Only four years after the launch of thefacebook.com, Zuckerberg was the only founder still holding an executive role in the company. Under his leadership, Facebook turned its first profit in 2009 and went public in 2012. In 2021, Zuckerberg rebranded the company into Meta Platforms, marking a new chapter that focuses no longer on social media but on cutting-edge technologies like Metaverse and artificial intelligence.
Although all of Zuckerberg’s cofounders left the company fairly early on, they are either billionaires or well-off enough to pursue their true passions today, thanks to their founding equity in Facebook.
Here’s where Facebook’s original five founders are today and what they are up to:
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO
- Age: 39
- Current occupation: Meta CEO
- Net worth: $144 billion
Zuckerberg is the longest-standing member of Facebook, serving as the company’s CEO and board chairman since the beginning and holding all the power over the company’s major decisions. He lives in Palo Alto, Calif. with his wife, Priscilla Chan, and their three daughters.
In 2015, the couple launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a family foundation through which they have pledged to give away 99 percent of their wealth over their lifetime.
Eduardo Saverin, the financial chief
- Age: 41
- Current occupation: Venture capitalist
- Net worth: $22 billion
Saverin currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Elaine Andriejanssen, investing in startups in Southeast Asia and India through his venture capital firm, B Capital.
Saverin was a junior at Harvard when he met Zuckerberg, who was a sophomore. They initially each agreed to invest $1,000 in Facebook and later committed another $18,000 each. Saverin served as the company’s first chief financial officer and business manager. He was also the first to part ways and Zuckerberg. He left in 2005 after Zuckerberg reportedly diluted his shares and cut him off, according to an exposé by Business Insider in 2012.
Saverin moved to Singapore in 2009 and renounced his U.S. citizenship two years later, which resulted in huge savings capital gains taxes when he cashed out his Facebook shares. Saverin claimed he renounced his citizenship because of his “interest in working and living in Singapore.”
Dustin Moskovitz, the “marathon coder”
- Age: 39
- Current occupation: CEO and investor
- Net worth: $14.8 billion
Today, Moskovitz is best known as the CEO of Asana, a productivity management platform that went public in 2020.
shared a dorm room with Zuckerberg he came up with the idea of Facemash in 2003. He was Facebook’s first chief technology officer and was known as one of the then startup’s “marathon coders.”
Moskovitz left Facebook in 2008 to started Asana. He cofounded with another ex-Facebook engineer, Justin Rosenstein. Moskovitz owns 2 percent of the company, which makes up the majority of his $14.8 billion fortune. Moskovitz reportedly has an agreement with Zuckerberg that allows Zuckerberg to vote on behalf of his Facebook shares.
Chris Hughes, the ‘Empath’
- Age: 40
- Current occupation: Author and scholar
- Net worth: about $500 million
Hughes is currently writing a book on the history of American economic governance entitled Marketcrafting: How the Visible Hand Shapes the Economy, expected to be published in 2025. He is a senior fellow at the Wharton School’s Legal Studies & Business Ethics Department under the University of Pennsylvania.
A history and literature major at Harvard, Hughes was the only non-tech cofounder of Facebook and was internally nicknamed “the Empath.” His work focused on the site’s functionality and user-friendliness instead of coding.
Hughes left Facebook in 2007 to join Barack Obama’s presidential election campaign, introducing social media into Obama’s campaign strategy. When Facebook went public in 2012, Hughes’s stake in the company was worth $500 million. The same year, Hughes bought The New Republic. After an unsuccessful attempt to reboot the left-leaning, century-old publication, Hughes sold the magazine in 2016 to Win McCormack.
It’s unclear when Hughes cashed out his Facebook shares. As of 2019, he said he didn’t own equity in any social media companies.
Hughes is a board member of several New York-based nonprofits. He chairs the Brooklyn-based Foundation for Community Psychoanalysis and sits on the boards of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Washington Square Park Conservancy.
Andrew McCollum, the prototype builder
- Age: 40
- Current occupation: CEO and investor
- Net worth: $20 million
McCollum is currently the CEO of Philo, a San Francisco-based internet TV company in which he is also an investor. McCollum is an angel investor with the venture capital firms Flybridge Capital Partners and New Enterprise Associates. As of 2020, McCollum had invested in 18 startups and exited nine.
McCollum paused school to join Zuckerberg’s startup in 2004. He designed Facebook’s initial web interface and prototype. He and Zuckerberg parted ways in 2006 to continue his education and graduated from Harvard in 2007 with a bachelor’s in computer science. He later earned a master’s in education from Harvard.