Face­book CEO Zucker­berg to take two months of pa­ter­nity leave

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

SAN FRANCISCO: Face­book Inc Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Mark Zucker­berg said on Fri­day he will take two months of pa­ter­nity leave af­ter his daugh­ter’s birth, a strong state­ment from one of the busiest and most pow­er­ful US ex­ec­u­tives on the im­por­tance of fam­ily time.

Sil­i­con Val­ley tech­nol­ogy firms have rushed to ex­tend parental leave al­lowances and other ben­e­fits in an at­tempt to re­cruit and re­tain tal­ent, but many work­ers do not take ad­van­tage for fear of fall­ing be­hind at work or miss­ing out on pro­mo­tions. Face­book, the world’s big­gest on­line so­cial net­work, al­lows its US employees to take up to four months of paid ma­ter­nity or pa­ter­nity leave, which can be used all at once or through­out the first year of their child’s life, a pol­icy which is gen­er­ous by US stan­dards. Zucker­berg an­nounced in July that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were ex­pect­ing a baby girl.

21 per­cent

A 2015 study by the So­ci­ety for Hu­man Re­source Man­age­ment found that 21 per­cent of em­ploy­ers it sur­veyed of­fered paid ma­ter­nity leave, and 17 per­cent pro­vided paid pa­ter­nity leave. “This is a very per­sonal de­ci­sion,” Zucker­berg wrote on his Face­book page, along with a pic­ture of a stroller, a yel­low baby car­rier and his dog, Beast. “Stud­ies show that when work­ing par­ents take time to be with their new­borns, out­comes are bet­ter for the chil­dren and fam­i­lies.”

Zucker­berg, 31, did not say who would be run­ning the com­pany while he is out. Face­book did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to an in­quiry.

It is likely that chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Sh­eryl Sand­berg, who over­sees all of Face­book’s ad­ver­tis­ing, will as­sume lead­er­ship. Zucker­berg largely over­sees prod­ucts, but will likely rely on chief prod­uct of­fi­cer Chris Cox while he is out.

Un­usual de­ci­sion

Zucker­berg’s de­ci­sion is un­usual among high­level tech ex­ec­u­tives, es­pe­cially men. Ya­hoo Inc CEO Marissa Mayer took two weeks off af­ter her first child’s birth in 2012, and when she an­nounced she was preg­nant with iden­ti­cal twin girls in Septem­ber, she said she would be tak­ing lim­ited ma­ter­nity leave and “work­ing through­out.”

Zucker­berg’s post gen­er­ated more than 50,000 ‘likes’ in one hour and nearly 3,000 com­ments. Many of the com­ments lauded his de­ci­sion and said it sent a pos­i­tive mes­sage about US parental leave poli­cies. Sand­berg com­mented and con­grat­u­lated Zucker­berg and his wife. Not­ing the baby’s up­com­ing birth, she wrote in her post: “I can’t wait to meet her.” — Reuters

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