Last week was Thanksgiving holiday, and as you were busy looking for the best Black Friday deals on major websites, you probably missed one of the biggest news headlines in the world of technology and business.
WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum, who was part of the team that sold this chat app to Facebook for a reported fee of $19 billion, recently sold over $274 million worth of Facebook stock in numerous transactions.
Koum’s master plan
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,Koum took advantage of a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan and sold over 2.5 million shares and now, it is reported that they are trading close to a record high. With this plan, company executives have the authority to set a suitable trading date in advance in a bid to alleviate any issues associated with insider trading.
Furthermore, this plan can be designed to execute trades in times when the stock reaches a certain price or even allow the owners designate brokers to sell or buy as they wish.
It is not just WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum who is selling his Facebook stock. However, there is no doubt that he was the only notable figure taking part in such huge dealings over an otherwise quiet holiday. Nonetheless, he joins the likes of Marc Andreessen, an early investor and longtime board member of the social networking company, in selling their stocks. Earlier this month, Recode reported that Andreessen parted ways with up to 73% of his stock over a period of one week. The entire sale amounted to about $160 million.
When compared to what Koum sold last week, the amount that Andreessen received looks a little small. To make matters even worse, the ‘small’ amount that the WhatsApp chief received was just shy of 4% of his total holdings in the company. In short, Koum still has about $7 billion worth of shares in Facebook, and he’s due to a lot more shortly.
No word has come from Facebook nor WhatsApp regarding the major reason behind this big sale.