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Mark Zuckerberg’s life, career, and controversies as Facebook turns 15


  • Facebook turned 15 years old earlier this year, marking the anniversary of Mark Zuckerberg launching the social network on February 4, 2004.
  • As Facebook CEO, Zuckerberg has been the face of the social network through its massive growth, as well as its many controversies.
  • We’ve created a timeline outlining Zuckerberg’s trajectory, from growing up in a New York City suburb to defending Facebook as it’s hit with scandal after scandal.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Through success and controversy, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been regarded as one of the most brilliant minds of his generation. 

With a net worth of $70 billion, the young CEO is credited with creating a social network that has more monthly active users than any single country in the world has people, and his majority voting rights give him complete control of the company — which also means he’s often the focal point of any backlash or scandal.

And for the last two years, Facebook has faced scandal after scandal. It’s been called out on multiple occasions for the way it handles user data, to the point where it’s led many to debate the pros and cons of free networks like Facebook that rely on advertisers for revenue. In 2018, Zuckerberg was summoned to give 10 hours of testimony to Congress as lawmakers sought answers about Facebook’s role in various events like the 2016 election and the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal.

In the midst of the scandals, Zuckerberg has defended Facebook and reiterated the company’s stated mission to connect the world with projects like bringing internet access to areas without less connectivity; through his charity work, he’s poured millions into education efforts and billions into initiatives for curing the world’s diseases. 

But the recent revelations have put a spotlight on Zuckerberg and his company like never before. Here’s a look at the timeline of Zuckerberg’s career, from his humble beginnings in a New York suburb to his role as one of the wealthiest CEOs in the world:



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