By MARK DUELL and HUGO GYE
Graffiti artist: David Choe was asked to paint the Facebook offices in Palo Alto, California, in 2005, and was offered the choice of being paid a few thousand cash or the equivalent in shares
A graffiti artist who painted the walls of Facebook's first headquarters seven years ago is set for a bumper payday of $200million after he agreed to take Facebook stock instead of cash for his work.
David Choe, 35, was asked to paint the offices in Palo Alto, California, in 2005, and was offered the choice by then-president Sean Parker of being paid a few thousand cash or the equivalent in shares.
Now, after a blockbuster $5billion Facebook stock exchange flotation moved a step closer last night, he is one of at least 1,000 company employees finally on their way to becoming millionaires.
Geniuses: Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Sean Parker are pictured in front of the graffiti by Mr Choe at Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, California, in May 2005
Although Mr Choe reportedly considered the idea of Facebook ‘ridiculous and pointless’ at the time of his painting, he took the stock when offered the option, reported the New York Times.
Now he could end up being paid more for the job than Damien Hirst got at a record-breaking 2008 Sotheby’s auction. Now a successful artist, Mr Choe refused to be interviewed about his windfall.
Many ‘advisers’ to the company in its formative years were paid between 0.1 to 0.25 per cent of the company, according to a former employee. This now translates into tens and hundreds of millions.
Outstanding graffiti: Mr Choe's work is seen here on a lift, left, and stairwell, right, of the Facebook offices
Mr Choe, of Los Angeles, California, recently went to the new Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park to spray paint a wall, and can be seen in a video getting the help of founder Mark Zuckerberg, 27.
He also did the cover art for Jay-Z and Linkin Park's hit 2004 music album Collision Course and even created a poster of President Barack Obama for the White House, reported the New York Times.
Left-handed Mr Choe told Ion magazine that he developed a 'dirty style' because his left hand would always smudge his work as a child - and admitted he even sometimes uses his own blood.
Cartoon graphics: Mr Choe's work is also on the stairs, left, and bathroom, right, of the Palo Alto headquarters
Facebook yesterday submitted paperwork to regulators for the most anticipated initial public offering since Google in 2004, expected to value the hugely-successful company at up to $100billion
The company hopes to list its stock under the ticker symbol 'FB' on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market.
Around the building: This amazing collage, left, is accompanied by this explosive artwork in the cafeteria, right
In its regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook said it hopes to raise $5billion in its IPO - a new record for a tech company, surpassing Google's $1.9billion IPO in 2004.
This is some turnaround for a firm which, as its founder explained in a letter with the filing, 'was not originally created to be a company', and still uses 'The Hacker Way' to guide its development.
The filing laid bare a number of key facts about the previously secretive firm - and exposed Mr Zuckerberg's strict control over many aspects of the company's management.
Other work: Mr Choe also did the cover art for Jay-Z and Linkin Park's hit 2004 music album Collision Course, left, and even created a poster of President Barack Obama that reportedly hangs in the White House, right
Thanks: Facebook released a picture of some staff thanking users for their support ahead of its $5billion initial public offering. But some users don't think that is enough thanks and they want a cut of the money