What Is Chris Hughes' Net Worth and How Much of Facebook Does He Own? Co-Founder Wants Company 'Broken Up'

Chris Hughes
Chris Hughes, an original founder of Facebook and Executive Director of Jumo, speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York, on Wednesday, May 26, 2010. Getty

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes announced via a New York Times opinion piece Thursday that the social network needs to be "broken up" due to the insane amount of power that it holds.

Though one of the original founders of Facebook, the 35-year-old hasn't been a part of the company since 2007 when he left to aide in Barrack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Hughes now says the network has grown "too big and too powerful" since its creation in 2004.

"Every week brings new headlines about privacy violations, election interference and mental health concerns," Hughes said in a video for Times. "I haven't been at the company for over a decade, but I feel a sense of responsibility to account for the damage done."

Chris Hughes, Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg (L) and Chris Hughes (R) creaters "Facebook" photographed at Eliot House at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. on May 14, 2004. Facebook was created in February 2004, 3 months prior to this photograph. Getty

"We need new regulations. It's time to break up Facebook," he added. "Mark's innovation in the early years made it possible for Facebook to dominate its rivals...when a single company dominates any market, they become susceptible to abusing their power."

"Facebook can decide what messages get delivered and which don't, and what exactly makes for violent or inappropriate content," Hughes said to the Times. "Even Mark, himself and the Facebook team have too much power over speech."

Despite not being at the company since 2007, Hughes still owns 1 percent of the network's stake, which is worth around $850 million. In 2019, Hughes was worth a staggering $430 million, according to Celeb Net Worth Today.

"Facebook does have a board of directors, but Mark owns the majority of the shares (28 percent)," he continued. "Mark has no boss, and he cannot be fired. It would be great if Mark could fix this himself but this, ironically, is a problem he cannot solve."

The problem, Hughes says, can be solved with government intervention in "two steps": corporate regulation, aka Facebook to be broken up, and a new government agency to specifically regulate social media companies.

"Breaking up Facebook is not a punishment for its economic success, it's a way to guarantee other, new companies can compete," he added. "We also need basic privacy protections and the ability to move their data around as they please."

He concluded: "I don't think Mark is a bad guy, and I've made this decision to speak out because I feel a sense of responsibility for what Facebook has become. To be honest, I'm angry that Mark's obsession with growth led him to sacrifice security with clicks."

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs and communication, has since released this statement to CNN: "Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability. But you don't enforce accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company."

"Accountability of tech companies can only be achieved through the painstaking introduction of new rules for the internet," the statement continued. "That is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg has called for. Indeed, he is meeting government leaders this week to further that work."