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Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook and the CEO of Meta has always been on the Forbes list since 2015, but this year he has lost more than half his fortune.
Forbes reported, “Zuckerberg has lost more than half his fortune—a staggering $76.8 billion—since September 2021, dropping him from No. 3 on The Forbes 400 list of the U.S.’ wealthiest people to No. 11. Worth $57.7 billion on this year’s list, which used stock prices from September 2.”
Zuckerberg is now behind Walmart heir Jim Walton, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and tech mogul ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
The largest loss for Zuckerberg’s fortune came from the stock price of Meta plummeting 57% since last year.
“Tech stocks are generally in a slump with the market downturn, but Meta’s fall outpaces both the Nasdaq (-9.8%) and the S&P 500 (-13.5%), as well as Microsoft’s 14% decline, Google-parent Alphabet‘s 25% drop and Amazon’s 27% dive,” the report explains.
Facebook makes most of its money from advertising, but it took a huge hit when Apple made it harder for companies to track users outside of their own apps.
“Facebook makes most of its money from advertising, and now it just doesn’t have that data anymore,” Mark Zgutowicz, an analyst at research and investment banking firm Benchmark, told Forbes. “All those data signals went away, which basically means that advertisers are having trouble telling whether a campaign was successful or not.”
Facebook has lost many advertisers to TikTok.
Zuckerberg hit billionaire status in 2008 when he was just 23 years old.
In February, Meta announced their first-ever quarterly loss of daily active users. A recent report showed that Instagram Reels is not keeping up with TikTok.
This is also not the first time that Zuckerberg’s fortune has dipped. In 2012, Zuckerberg fell from Number 14 to Number 36 on the list. But the next year he bumped himself back up.
Under normal circumstances, a slight dip in revenue might be manageable, but Meta is also investing heavily in virtual reality and the metaverse, which is dragging down operating profit. In 2021, the company’s metaverse division, Meta Reality Labs, lost $10 billion. While the metaverse is all Zuckerberg wants to talk about, investors are less enthusiastic so far. “It’s a long tail investment and, for now, it’s kind of a cash suck,” Zgutowicz says.
Where will he be next year? Nearly all of Zuckerberg’s wealth is tied up in Meta stock, according to Forbes’ estimates, meaning he is betting the company’s long-term prospects–and his enormous fortune–on the metaverse. It remains to be seen if he can move past early stumbles. When Zuckerberg last month posted a selfie on Meta’s new VR social network Horizon Worlds, he was universally mocked. He later admitted the photo was “pretty basic” and promised major updates to the graphics soon. Meta stock is down 8% since then.
Zuckerberg has also been under scrutiny for the privacy of users on his platforms and for censoring stories.