Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong telecom billionaire, has upped his stake in Facebook, investing another $60 million in the social network. His new total: $120 million, or half of Microsoft's stake. The valuation: Still $15 billion. All the cash flowing into Facebook has gotten some Facebookers thinking about selling. CEO Mark Zuckerberg remains too cash-poor to buy his own house, but a handful of employees are cashing out.
One is former COO Owen Van Natta, who won the right to sell shares as part of his departure from the company. The others, we're told, are a handful of "hardship cases." Zuckerberg has said an IPO won't come until 2009 at the earliest; in the meantime, he's resisting efforts to create a free market in its still-private shares. To my mind, the persistent rumors — apparently untrue — that Zuckerberg himself has sold shares just show how eager his underlings are to cash out.