Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg’s $71 Billion Wealth Elimination Puts Spotlight on Metalfight

It was less than two years ago when Mark Zuckerberg, 38, was worth $106 billion. (Proceedings)

Mark Zuckerberg’s turn to the metaverse has cost him dearly in the real world.

Even in a tough year for nearly all of America’s tech titans, the erased wealth of the CEO of Meta Platforms Inc. stands out. His fortune has halved and then some, falling by $71 billion in what so far this year, the most among the ultra-rich tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. At $55.9 billion, his net worth ranks 20th among global billionaires, his lowest since 2014 and behind three Waltons and two Koch family members.

It was less than two years ago that Zuckerberg, 38, was worth $106 billion and among an elite group of global billionaires, with only Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates commanding larger fortunes. His wealth rose to a peak of $142 billion in September 2021, when the company’s shares hit $382.

The following month, Zuckerberg introduced Meta and rebranded the company from Facebook Inc. And it’s been largely downhill from there as it struggles to find its place in the tech universe.

His recent earnings reports have been dismal. It started in February, when the company disclosed no growth in monthly Facebook users, triggering a historic collapse in its stock price and slashing Zuckerberg’s fortune by $31 billion, one of the biggest drops in wealth in history. a day in history Other issues include Instagram’s bet on Reels, its answer to TikTok’s short-form video platform, despite the fact that it’s worth less in ad revenue, while the broader industry has been hit by lower marketing spend due to to concerns about an economic slowdown.

Shares are also being dragged down by the company’s investments in the metaverse, said Laura Martin, senior internet analyst at Needham & Co. Zuckerberg said he expects the project to lose “significant” amounts of money over the next three to five years. .

In the meantime, Meta “has to get these TikTok users back,” Martin said. It is also hampered by “excessive regulatory scrutiny and intervention,” he said.

The Menlo Park, California-based company is doing worse in 2022 than most of its FAANG peers. It’s down 57% this year, far more than drops of 14% for Apple Inc., 26% for Amazon.com Inc. and 29% for Google parent Alphabet Inc. Meta is even closing the gap in 2022 losses with Netflix Inc., which is down 60%.

If it weren’t for its push into virtual reality, the social media giant “would be more in line with where Alphabet is at,” said Mandeep Singh, a technology analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. Meta could get around this problem by spinning off some of its other businesses, like WhatsApp or Instagram, he said.

Nearly all of Zuckerberg’s wealth is tied up in Meta stock. He owns more than 350 million shares, according to the company’s latest proxy statement. The price was little changed at $146.18 at 12:22 pm in New York.

Zuckerberg has attempted a kind of rebranding. He recently uploaded a video of himself practicing mixed martial arts and repeatedly referred to himself as a “product designer” in a three-hour conversation on the Joe Rogan podcast.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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