Mark Zuckerberg has no plans to run for president, the Facebook founder and CEO told Buzz Feed News Tuesday.“No,” Zuckerberg wrote in response to a question asking if he had any plans to run for president.
“I'm focused on building our community at Facebook and working on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative,” referring to the limited-liability corporation he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, founded in 2015 to advance human potential and promote equality through major bets in education and science research. Zuckerberg, who had previously been described as an atheist, said over the holidays that he believes religion is important.
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But as Zuckerberg indicated Tuesday, he’s more interested in wielding influence from Menlo Park than Washington, DC.
Zuckerberg did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about whether he’d explicitly ruled out a run. He’s touring the US asking “folks” about how they live.
Zuckerberg’s response comes after weeks of speculation from the tech press and beyond, set off by a series of events that indicated a run might be in the cards, including a pledge to visit the approximately 30 US states he hadn’t yet been to. He hired a former White House photographer to take his Facebook pics.
A source close to Zuckerberg told Buzz Feed News the 32-year-old CEO has privately denied it as well.“There’s absolutely no truth to the idea that Mark is running for office and I’ve heard it directly from him,” the source told Buzz Feed News.
“Here’s the thing: For Mark, Facebook is global community that already plays this huge part in the lives of billions of people around the world and plays an incredibly important role in shaping the base on the issues that matter.”Zuckerberg is preparing for a political battle, the source was careful to emphasize, but as a private citizen focused on the goals he has already outlined through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.