Eduardo Saverin Talks Facebook With VejaBy: Shawn Hess - May 30, 2012
We’ve been covering Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and his plan to renounce his United States citizenship all throughout May. First, he was accused of trying to skirt taxes by renouncing his citizenship, but his representatives tried to explain that wasn’t the case.
Next, Senator Charles Schumer of New York claimed Saverin was running a scheme and took legal action to impose a hefty capital gains tax on investors who renounce their citizenship.
Now, Eduardo is being featured in Brazil’s number one weekly publication Veja. In the article, Saverin addresses the issue of his taxes, U.S. citizenship, his investments, and even his relationship with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. Veja is the World’s 3rd largest weekly publication.
Eduardo’s father Roberto comments on giving up U.S. citizenship:
“It was hard for me, because of the life I built in the U.S., hearing from Eduardo that he had to give up on his citizenship. But he did this not because he wanted to, but because he had no other choice as a foreigner living in Singapore, where financial transactions are more restricted and bureaucratic for those who hold a U.S. passport. There was no other way. Besides, after Facebook’s IPO, there would be much pressure on him if he stayed in America.”
Eduardo addresses his relationship with Mark Zuckerberg:
“I have only good things to say about Mark, there are no hard feelings between us. His focus on the company since its very first day is anything short of admirable. He was a visionary, he always knew that the only way for Facebook to grow was to maintain its central idea, that of people truly presenting themselves as they are, without nicknames or pseudonyms. That’s Facebook’s biggest strength, what allowed us to transform it into an instrument of protest, like what happened in Egypt, but also in an instrument of business, not to mention a way of naturally connecting with friends.”
Saverin speaks about the state of his current investments:
“I am investing like a crazy person, mostly in internet start-ups. And I want to invest in Brazil as well, because I am Brazilian and that’s in my heart. I’ve recently been cc’d on e-mails sent to Eike Batista [Brazil’s richest man]. But that’s not how I want to invest in Brazil, through minerals, unless it’s silicon or something tech-related. And I believe there’s a new Facebook out there to be found. Where? My guess is in healthcare.”
Saverin came to the United States in 1992 from Brazil, where he was born, and gained citizenship in 1998 while attending Harvard with Mark Zuckerberg.
Eventually, Eduardo issued a formal statement regarding his decision to abandon his U.S. citizenship.
Eduardo Saverin comments:
“My decision to expatriate was based solely on my interest in working and living in Singapore, where I have been since 2009. I am obligated to and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government. I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen.”
“…I invested my life’s savings into a start-up company that initially was run out of a college dorm room. Since then the company has expanded dramatically, has created thousands of jobs in the United States…”
“I will continue to invest in U.S. businesses and start-ups, and believe and hope that those investments will create many new jobs in the U.S. and globally.”
Eduardo has been living and working in Singapore side 2009. He stays connected to the United States and the rest of the world through his iPad, iPhone, and other devices. He told Veju that it was always a dream of his to live in the U.S. and that corruption and threats of kidnapping forced him and his family out of Brazil, and that is when they moved to Miami in the early 1990’s. Saverin’s investments are currently worth about $2 billion.