The 2010 Person of the Year for Time magazine is Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In listing Zuckerberg as their most important person, the publication states it's because of the way his company changed the way our planet views information and connects to each other. Zuckerberg was also in the news this year for his donation of $100 million to the Newark, NJ, school system.
Staffers at Time said, "For connecting half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives."
Other Persons of the Year for Time have done well soon after their announcement. Here's how some business cashed in on their fame and expanded the world's consciousness.
In 2005, Bill and Melinda Gates shared Person of the Year honors with Bono for making charitable contributions. The founder of Microsoft announced his retirement six months later to focus on charitable giving with world health and education.
In July 2008, Gates formally ended his day-to-day operations with Microsoft. The two-year notice Gates gave to his company allowed for enough time for a smooth transition in the company's hierarchy. At the time he retired, Gates was worth a reported $58 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon and was named the Person of the Year in 1999. Since then, the online ordering company has become a marketing powerhouse.
Achievement.org states Bezos changed the way Americans do business by setting the standard for e-commerce. CNET reports Bezos' company had an initial public offering (IPO) of $29.25 per share in 1997, and is now selling stock at a price of around $177. That's an increase of almost 600 percent in just 12 years.
The CEO of another large tech company was named the Person of the Year in 1997. Andy Grove, of computer chip maker Intel, was featured as a leader in the digital revolution.
Grove retired as CEO a year later and became the chairman of the board from 1997 until 2005. His official position is now that of Senior Advisor. Since being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000, Grove made a sizable $40 million donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Forbes reports the donation came in 2008 and comes on top of Grove donating $22 million to Parkinson's research before that moment.
Zuckerberg is still very young--just 26 years old. His financial future is already secured, and he has joined with Bill Gates in pledging to donate some of his wealth to worthy causes. If Time's Person of the Year in any indication, Zuckerberg has a lot going for him, as he has most of his life ahead of him.
Many questions on the minds of financial and technology pundits revolve around what Zuckerberg plans on doing with his company. Will Facebook go public? How much would stock be worth in Facebook? How long will Zuckerberg lead his company? Whatever happens, the young man has a lot to look forward to.
Miller, Matthew, "Gates No Longer World's Richest Man,"Forbes.
Achievement.org, "Jeff Bezos Biography."
Galante, Suzanne, and Dawn Kawamoto, "Amazon.com IPO skyrockets," CNET.
Intel, "Andrew S. Grove Bio."
Doloan, Kerry A. "Andy Grove Puts Millions Into Parkinson's Fight,"Forbes.
- Facebook founder
- Bill Gates
- Jeff Bezos
- Bill and Melinda Gates
- Parkinson s disease
- the Michael J. Fox Foundation
- chairman of the board
- Person of the Year