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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Birthday, IPO and a Wedding...What Next?

Story first appeared in USA Today.

For Facebook founder and CEO, it was quite a week — from birthday, to IPO, to I DO.

A day after the historic Facebook stock offering, on Saturday he wed his girlfriend of nearly a decade, according to a guest authorized to speak for the couple. The person spoke only on the condition of anonymity.

He gave his new bride a ring he had designed with a "very simple ruby" to end an incredibly eventful week, according to the guest.

The couple married at his Palo Alto, Calif. home in front of fewer than 100 stunned guests who thought they would be attending a party to celebrate her graduation from medical school.

On Monday, the Facebook CEO turned 28 and his new bride graduated from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, where she'd studied pediatrics.

Then on Friday, he took his blue-and-white web behemoth public in one of the most anticipated IPOs in Wall Street history.

The seemingly well-coordinated timing was largely a coincidence, the guest said. The wedding had been planned for months and the couple was waiting for her to finish medical school, but the date of the IPO was a "moving target" not known when the wedding was set.

Attendees, including Facebook's chief operating officer, were told after they arrived that they were not mere party guests but wedding guests.

Ditching his trademark hoodie and sneakers, the Facebook CEO sported a dark blue suit and tie with a white shirt for the ceremony, while the new bride wore a traditional white wedding dress with veil and lace.

Food was served family-style and included dishes from the couple's favorite Palo Alto sushi restaurant.

The two at Harvard, where he founded Facebook in a dorm room in 2004, and have been together for more than nine years.

Even after the IPO, the CEO, who grew up in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., remains Facebook's single largest shareholder, with 503.6 million shares, and he controls the company with 56 percent of its voting stock.

The site has grown into a worldwide network of almost a billion people and made its founder, Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2010, one of the most famous businessmen of the Internet age.

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