By his billionaire standards, Mark Zuckerberg is getting poorer by the day. With the firm shares falling precipitously this year, the CEO of Meta has watched his fortune shrink.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, since the beginning of 2022, Zuckerberg has lost $76.6 billion, or 61% of his wealth. This includes a $2.7 billion loss of value in a single day following the release of dismal Q3 2022 earnings from Meta.
With a net worth of $48.9 billion, Zuckerberg is now the 23rd richest person in the world, down from a peak of $102 billion (when he was the third richest) in August 2020.
After reporting a 52% fall in profits to $4.4 billion in Q3 2022, Meta stock plunged 19% in after-hours trading on Wednesday to $105.20. This is the bottom line’s second straight quarterly decline.
Additionally, the parent company of Facebook suffered a 4% decline in revenue, falling to $27.7 billion in the third quarter. Its sales projection for the current quarter (Q4 2022) is $30–32.5 billion, which is less than it was a year ago.
In the earnings call on Wednesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We’re still behind where I think we should be, but we believe that we will return to healthier revenue growth trends next year. While we continue to navigate some challenging dynamics — a volatile macroeconomy, increasing competition, ads signal loss, and growing costs from our long-term investments — I have to say that our product trends look better from what I see than some of the commentaries I’ve seen suggests.”
Investors and stockholders alike have criticised the 38-year-old Facebook CEO for his audacious but mysterious gamble on the Metaverse, which has driven up Meta’s Capex while placing pressure on its core businesses and alienating staff.
“Meta has drifted into the land of excess — too many people, too many ideas, too little urgency. This lack of focus and fitness is obscured when growth is easy but deadly when growth slows and technology changes,” Brad Gerstner, CEO of Altimeter Capital (Meta shareholder), wrote in a letter to Zuckerberg earlier this week.
The CEO defended his Metaverse vision saying, “I get that a lot of people might disagree with this investment. But from what I can tell, I think that this is going to be a very important thing, and I think it would be a mistake for us to not focus on any of these areas, which I think are going to be fundamentally important to the future. So, we’re going to try to do this in a way that is responsible and matches the way that the rest of the business is growing over time.”