Mark Zuckerberg recently told podcaster Joe Rogan that every morning he feels like he’s been “punched in the stomach” because of the “millions of messages” he wakes up to. But lately, he may be feeling worse amid a colossal decline in his personal wealth.
Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook parent Meta, fell 14 places on the list of the world’s richest people, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is now the 20th richest person with a total net worth of $55.3 billion, down $70.2 billion year to date on Monday due to a sharp drop in Meta’s share price.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, are among the five richest people, but they are not exempt from financial losses. These, however, pale in comparison to Zuckerberg’s, with Musk (No. 1 on the richest list) losing $2.55 billion over the past year, Bezos (No. 3) losing $44.4 billion and Gates (No. 5) $26.2 billion. .
It shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, as tech stock prices have suffered over the past year due to the economic slowdown. The paper wealth of many tech titans is tied to the huge stakes they still hold in the companies they founded.
Zuckerberg’s wealth peaked at about $140 billion in September 2021. A month later, he announced Facebook’s rebranding as Meta to highlight its shift in focus to the “metaverse,” a kind of digital world in augmented and virtual reality. It was around that time that his wealth began to decline.
In February, Meta’s shares fell nearly 23% after an unexpected expense in its “metaverse” led to a decline in its fourth-quarter profit, along with a lower-than-expected revenue outlook, amid its growing rivalry with TikTok.
Meta has tried to compete with TikTok’s rise in short video clips by pushing Reels, its own video service, on both Instagram and Facebook. However, some online influencers, like Kylie Jenner, don’t like the changes Zuckerberg and his team are implementing.
In July, Meta reported its first quarterly decline in revenue from the previous year, shortly after reporting its first decline in daily Facebook users.
Zuckerberg’s decline in wealth doesn’t seem to have completely discouraged him when it comes to the metaverse. In his appearance of almost three hours The Joe Rogan Experience in August, Zuckerberg said he thought the metaverse would likely be “much healthier” for people, reiterating his belief that it’s the next generation of the Internet.
“My goal for these next set of platforms, they’re going to be more immersive and hopefully more useful, but I don’t necessarily want people to spend more time with computers,” he told Rogan. “I just want people’s screen time to be better.”
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