Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of one of the most valuable and powerful companies in the world, will take two months of paternity leave after the birth of his second daughter later this year. The 33-year-old executive took two months off when his first daughter Maxima, or "Max", was born in November 2015 as well.
"I will always be grateful I could spend so much time with her in the first months of her life," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post on Friday (18 August) that featured a photo of his daughter Max with his dog Beast. "This time, I'm going to take advantage of Facebook's option to take leave in parts."
Zuckerberg said he will take a month off to spend time to be with his wife, Dr Priscilla Chan, and his daughters after his new daughter is born and will later spend the entire month of December with them.
"I'm looking forward to bonding with our new little one and taking Max on adventures," Zuckerberg said. "At Facebook, we offer four months of maternity and paternity leave because studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it's good for the entire family."
According to a 2017 Pew Research report, just 14% of civilian workers had access to paid family leave in 2016. California was the first state to establish paid family leave back in 2004. Just four other states and the District of Columbia have enacted paid family leave laws since then.
While many people applauded Zuckerberg for setting an example and speaking out about a key issue, some Facebook users from other countries pointed out that the US still falls woefully behind the rest of the world when it comes to paid leave for new parents.
"Here in Germany we have a paid maternity leave of 12 months. If you see it from this perspective, the US is a developing nation," one person wrote.
Another responded: "Thank you Mark for raising the bar in this country and setting an example. Keep it up. Others are watching and learning, even if it takes them a little longer."
Zuckerberg and his wife announced in March that they were expecting their second child.
He did not specify who will take up his duties while he is away. Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Chief Financial Officer David Wehner will be highest-ranking executives during his absence.
"I'm pretty sure the office will still be standing when I get back," Zuckerberg said.
Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's vice president of ads and business platform, responded to the post saying: "We'll keep the lights on for you."