Facebook IPO turns graffiti mural into a $200 million payday

David Choe, the artist commissioned to paint a mural in Facebook HQ in 2005, is about to become a very rich man indeed – all thanks to some graffiti murals and the Facebook IPO.

Reuters
A sign outside the Facebook headquarters (not by David Choe) welcomes visitors. The graffiti artist worked on Facebook's old HQ back in 2005.

Good work if you can get it. 

In 2005, the artist David Choe was hired to paint some murals in Facebook HQ. Facebook, then a young and scrappy social network, offered Choe a choice of two forms of payment: cash or Facebook stock. In an interview with the New York Times this week, Choe recalled that he eventually decided on the stock option, even figured his choice was "ridiculous and pointless." Fast forward a few years, and Choe is poised to become a multimillionaire. 

According to the Times, assuming Choe hasn't otherwise unloaded the stock, his Facebook shares will be worth approximately $200 million when Facebook goes public later this year. (On Wednesday, Facebook filed S-1 papers with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, a move that brings the social network, which could be valued at $100 billion, one step closer to its long awaited IPO.)  

Choe, for his part, seems to be handling the news pretty well. In a not-appropriate-for-children post on his personal blog, Choe said the whole thing was "very very similar to another dream I have where I wake up at noon to my phone ringing, and the ringtone is butterfly wings, I pick it up and it’s Howard Stern, the view, Ellen, Charlie Rose, Telemundo and every news outlet in the world." 

The artist went on to call himself "the most highest-paid decorator alive." 

Hey, you know who else the Facebook IPO will benefit, aside from Choe and the Facebook brass? Social gaming juggernaut Zynga, which saw its shares soar in morning trading yesterday. According to the S-1 papers filed by Facebook, a whopping 12 percent of Facebook's revenue last year came from Zynga games – approximately $445 million, by one estimation.

Meanwhile, a peek inside the Facebook filing papers shows that the social network's IPO will likely create literally hundreds of millionaires. 

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