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Zuckerberg saved tens of millions of dollars by selling Facebook stock ahead of Monday’s decline

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg saw his net worth decline by about $5 billion Monday, but it could have been worse.

Ahead of Facebook’s worst one-day decline since 2012, prompted by news that data affecting 51.3 million members was improperly shared with a political consulting firm, Zuckerberg had been busy selling stock. So far this year, he has sold nearly 5 million shares.

Disposing of those Facebook FB, -6.77% shares before Monday ended up saving about $40 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings and some arithmetic by MarketWatch. At Monday’s close, the 4.9 million shares Zuckerberg has sold this year under a predetermined plan would be worth $855 million.

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