In the past year, Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth has plummeted to $76.8 billion, knocking him off the list of the 10 richest people in America. He currently occupies position 11 on the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.
In 2008, four years after founding Facebook, Zuckerberg became the company’s first billionaire.
He was the youngest self-made billionaire ever when, at the age of 23, he debuted at No. 321 on The Forbes 400 with a $1.5 billion net worth.
By 2011, Zuckerberg’s net worth had increased by roughly a dozen times, reaching $17.5 billion.
Mark Zuckerberg’s position in the Forbes 400 fell from 14 to 36 after Facebook’s historically lackluster IPO in 2012.
However, that didn’t last very long. But Zuckerberg bounced back the next year, and his wealth has since kept rising.
Due in large part to Facebook’s ad machine, which continually generated enough money to wow investors despite the company’s string of scandals and problems, Zuckerberg’s net worth climbed to $134.5 billion last year, his highest net worth ever.
Zuck, who is worth $57.7 billion according to this year’s list, which was based on stock prices as of September 2, trails other business titans like former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Walmart heir Jim Walton, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
No one in America has lost more money in a single year than Mark Zuckerberg.
He has fallen out of the top 10, which can be attributed to his real estate investments and the falling stock price of Meta (formerly Facebook).
Shares have decreased by 57% since the Forbes 400 of last year, which used stock values as of September 3, 2021.
Tech companies have historically been impacted by market downturns, but Meta’s decline has surpassed that of the Nasdaq (-9.8%) and S&P 500 (-13.5%), as well as Microsoft’s 14% decline, Alphabet’s 25% decline, and Amazon’s 27% decline.
In July, Meta announced its first-ever quarterly sales decline, with a 1% decrease to $28.8 billion.
“Facebook just doesn’t have that data anymore,” claims Mark Zgutowicz, an analyst with research and investment banking firm Benchmark. “Facebook makes most of its money from advertising.”
The fact that “all those data signals disappeared” essentially means that advertisers are unable to determine how well a campaign was effective or not.
This same situation for Meta is getting worse as TikTok attracts advertisers and important Gen Z and millennial consumers away from it. In February, Meta announced its first-ever quarterly drop in daily users.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, Instagram Reels, Meta’s TikTok clone, is having trouble competing, as shown by its internal analysis and user feedback.
Under normal circumstances, a slight reduction in revenue could be manageable, but Meta is also heavily investing in virtual reality and the metaverse, which is harming operating profit.
In 2021, the company’s Meta Reality Labs division lost $10 billion.
Investors haven’t been as excited as Zuckerberg, who just wants to talk about the metaverse. It’s a long-term investment, and right now it’s somewhat of a cash suck, claims Zgutowicz.
According to Forbes, nearly all of Zuckerberg’s assets are deposited in Meta shares, which suggests that he is betting his enormous fortune—as well as the future success of his business—on the metaverse. It will be interesting to see if he can get through his early stumbles.
When Zuckerberg posted a selfie on Meta’s brand-new virtual reality social network, Horizon Worlds, last month, the entire internet laughed at him. Later, he admitted that the picture was “quite primitive,” but he promised to soon make important graphic improvements. The price of Meta stock has fallen 8% ever since.
What impact has the loss had on Meta?
To decrease costs by at least 10% in the upcoming months, Zuckerberg put a moratorium on new employee recruiting. The group said that it would “further restructure” to address the over 60% decline in value over the previous year, which was attributed to its underperforming advertising division.
He asserted that over the next year, Meta will “steadily curb headcount expansion.” Plans to hire engineers may be scaled back by 30%.
The announcement comes as Meta makes a calculated bet that the virtual world known as the “Metaverse” will soon generate billions of pounds in revenue. Meta stock has decreased by 8% since that time.
However, as a global economic downturn that is becoming more likely to occur draws near, the corporation is currently having problems. And many experts still have serious reservations about the Metaverse’s intended use.
Even though it appears that Zuckerberg and his company are losing a lot of money, it might not just be him. Other IT firms have scaled back operations as Silicon Valley battles the potential for a recession.
Google announced last month that it would stop hiring new employees and reduce benefits. Apple and Microsoft have already put restrictions on hiring.