Mark Zuckerberg, thanks to his position in Meta, Inc. (what Facebook is called now), is one of the world’s richest men. The tech behemoth is a money printer and he’s in control of it, so that makes sense.
But, while he’s still one of the world’s richest men, his wealth and relative position are down substantially this year. Zuckerberg started the year in 6th place on the richest man in the world list but, according to Bloomberg, is now down to 22nd.
Why? Because while the market downturn this year has hit all those billionaires hard, Zuckerberg has been particularly impacted by it, losing a whopping $71 billion. Those losses come from the souring stock market sentiment on Meta, Inc, as Western Journal reported, saying:
Two years ago, at $106 billion, Zuckerberg was the world’s third richest man; now he’s down to a paltry $55.9 billion.
Most of his money is in Meta Platforms, Inc., the new name for what was previously Facebook, Inc.
Zuckerberg’s peak was a year ago when he was worth $142 billion, and Facebook stock was at $382 per share. Midday Wednesday it was at about $149.
“Paltry” is relative there…many people probably with they had $71 billion to lose. Regardless, Zuckerberg’s declining net worth makes sense in the context of the problems facing his company, Meta.
For one, Meta announced in February that Facebook had stopped adding users. Given that it has billions of users that makes sense, but was still taken as bad news for a tech stock by Wall Street, which sold off the stock on the news and evaporated billions upon billions of dollars of wealth.
Then there are all the political issues. Between the FBI supposedly pressuring him and Facebook to deal with the Hunter Biden laptop story, hinting that it was “Russian disinformation”, and the animus directed Facebook’s way by both conservatives and liberals furious over the censorship on the platform (or, in the case of liberals, relative lack thereof), Facebook faces significant regulatory hurdles in the coming years.
Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg’s continued involvement in politics, particularly with the vast sum he spent in 2020, has made him a target of many on the right who point to him as an example of oligarchy or Democrats attempting to buy elections. Fair or not, that criticism is there and because of Zuckerberg’s continued involvement with Facebook, it makes Facebook a target too.
But, while those political problems are big ones for Meta and Zuckerberg, the bigger problem might just be a lack of focus on what’s profitable and worry from analysts that the metaverse idea is going to be expensive and not pay off. Again according to Western Journal:
While other tech companies also are having problems in 2022, with Apple stock down 14 percent for the year; Amazon down 26 percent and Alphabet, the parent of Google down 29 percent, Meta’s 57 percent downturn is approaching that of hapless Netflix which is off 60 percent.
Had it not ventured into virtual reality, Meta probably would be at about the level of Alphabet, according to Mandeep Singh, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. Meta might remedy its situation by spinning off its other businesses such as WhatsApp and Instagram, Singh said.
But, come what may, Zuckerberg is still worth billions and Facebook is an incredible product used by billions. So he and his company will, in all likelihood, be fine.
By: Gen Z Conservative