Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, saw his net worth plummet by a staggering USD 71 billion in 2022 alone, the most of any billionaire.
According to the reports from Bloomberg, it is not just market reasons that are to blame for Mark Zuckerberg’s precipitous decline, which has brought attention back to his company’s decision to focus on the metaverse.
As Facebook’s whistleblower allegations came under intense scrutiny last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared his company’s plan to concentrate on developing the metaverse, the next great thing on the internet.
Along with this revelation, Facebook underwent a significant rebranding, changing its name to Meta, and interest in the metaverse increased.
A new conversation began online as a result of Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta move, and some companies in this industry may have even benefited financially. But the change hasn’t done much good for Meta itself.
For instance, according to data given by Meta earlier this year, its efforts to create the metaverse cost USD 10 billion in total during the final three months of 2021. The markets responded fiercely, reducing the company’s valuation by USD 200 billion. This was just the start of the enormous task the company intended to undertake.
Despite all the anticipation that the metaverse had generated, the quarterly statistics had also revealed that Facebook, the company’s flagship product, had started to lose subscribers for the first time in its 18-year history.
Stock markets have remained quite unstable since the start of 2022 due to worries about an impending recession. Many companies in the tech industry that are Meta’s rivals are also facing similar struggles.
While Amazon’s stock price is down 26%, Apple witnessed a 14% decline in its stock price, and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has seen a 29% decline in its valuation.
With a valuation loss of 57%, Meta faces even a bigger problem. Since most of Mark Zuckerberg’s money is invested in the company stock—of which he owns 350 million shares—his personal wealth also saw a significant decline.
The Bloomberg report further stated that when Facebook shares reached an all-time high of USD 382 in September of last year, Mark Zuckerberg’s personal fortune grew to USD 142 billion from its previous value of USD 106 billion.