Mark Zuckerberg’s foray into supermarkets has cost him dearly in the real world.
Even in a difficult year for every US tech giant, the wealth removed from the chief executive of Meta Platforms Inc. His fortune has been cut in half and then several, down $71 billion so far this year, the most of any of the super-rich tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. At $55.9 billion, his net worth ranks 20th among global billionaires, the lowest position since 2014 and behind three Waltons and two members of the Koch family.
Less than two years ago when Zuckerberg, 38, had a net worth of $106 billion and was among the elite group of global billionaires, only Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates held a larger fortune. His fortune surged to a peak of $142 billion in September 2021, when the company’s stock peaked at $382.
The following month, Zuckerberg introduced Meta and renamed the company from Facebook Inc.
Its recent earnings reports are bleak. It started in February, when the company revealed no growth in monthly Facebook users, triggering a historic crash in stock price and a $31 billion drop in Zuckerberg’s fortune, one of the largest. The biggest single-day drop in assets ever. Other issues include Instagram’s bet on Reels – its answer to short-form video platform TikTok – despite it’s undervalued ad revenue, while the industry as a whole has been hit by spending lower marketing spending due to recession fears.
The stock is also being dragged down by the company’s investments in the metaverse, said Laura Martin, senior internet analyst at Needham & Co., Zuckerberg said. & Co.
In the meantime, Meta “has to get these users back from TikTok,” Martin said. It is also hampered by “excessive regulatory interference and oversight,” she said.
The Menlo Park, California-based company is doing worse in 2022 than most of its peers in FAANG. It’s down about 57% this year, far more than the 14% drop for Apple Inc., 26% for Amazon.com Inc. and 29% for Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. Meta is even closing its 2022 loss gap with Netflix Inc. ., down about 60%.
Mandeep Singh, technology analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said that if it weren’t for its efforts in virtual reality, the social media giant “would be a better fit for Alphabet’s position”. Meta could solve this problem by cutting off some of its other businesses, like WhatsApp or Instagram, he said.
Nearly all of Zuckerberg’s fortune is tied to Meta stock. He holds more than 350 million shares, according to the company’s latest proxy statement. Prices were little changed at $146.18 at 12:22 pm in New York.
Zuckerberg tried to rebrand. He recently posted a video of himself practicing mixed martial arts and repeatedly calling himself a “product designer” during a three-hour chat on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)