Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he plans to take two months off from work after the birth of his first child.
“This is a very personal decision, and I’ve decided to take 2 months of paternity leave once our daughter arrives,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
The announcement comes as Google, Netflix, Microsoft and other high-tech companies have expanded their parental leave policies as a way to recruit and keep talented employees.
It also makes a statement on examples that some feel high-level executives should set. In September, Yahoo! chief executive Marissa Mayer announced she was pregnant with twins — and planned to take “limited time off” following their arrival and work throughout that period.
Her plans echoed the way she handled her first pregnancy in 2012, when she gave birth just months after being named Yahoo! CEO. Mayer worked through a two-week maternity leave.
Zuckerberg, who announced his family's impending arrival over the summer, has not said when his baby is due.
“Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families,” he said. “At Facebook we offer our US employees up to 4 months of paid maternity or paternity leave which they can take throughout the year.”
Zuckerberg's announcement prompted numerous comments of support, with many hoping that his actions will help pave the way for other employers. Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, also offered her congratulations.
“Enjoy the precious early months with your daughter — I can’t wait to meet her,” she wrote.