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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is having a bad year.
The CEO of Meta Platforms Inc. saw his fortune cut in half and then some. He lost $71 billion according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He’s now ranked at his lowest spot since 2014. He’s now behind three Waltons and two members of the Koch family.
Not long ago, 38-year-old Zuckerberg was worth $106 billion and among an elite group of global billionaires — top 5 in the world.
However, after Zuckerberg introduced Meta and changed the company’s name from Facebook Inc, everything has been going poorly.
In February, Meta revealed no growth in monthly Facebook users.
This triggered a historic collapse in its stock price. Zuckerberg lost $31 billion overnight.
It’s one of the biggest one-day declines in wealth ever.
More on this story via Yahoo Finance:
Other issues include Instagram’s bet on Reels — its answer to TikTok’s short-form video platform — even though it’s worth less in advertising revenue, while the industry overall has been affected by lower marketing spending due to concerns over an economic slowdown.
The stock is also being dragged down by the company’s investments in the metaverse, said Laura Martin, senior internet analyst at Needham & Co. Zuckerberg has said he expects the project will lose “significant” amounts of money in the next three to five years.
In the meantime, Meta “has to get these users back from TikTok,” said Martin. It’s also hampered by “excessive regulatory scrutiny and intervention,” she said.
The Menlo Park, California-based company is faring worse in 2022 than most of its FAANG peers. It’s down about 57% this year, far more than the declines of 14% for Apple Inc., 26% for Amazon.com Inc. and 29% for Google parent Alphabet Inc. Meta is even narrowing the gap in 2022 losses with Netflix Inc., which is down about 60%.
If not for its endeavour into virtual reality, the social media giant “would be more in line with where Alphabet is,” said Mandeep Singh, technology analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. Meta could circumvent this issue by spinning off some of its other businesses, like WhatsApp or Instagram, he said.