Zuckerberg's worth has plummeted by 500 billion as Meta bets on the metaverse

Facebook parent company Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg betting on the metaverse strategy has cost him a high price in the real world. Despite a tough year for nearly all U.S. tech giants, Zuckerberg's dwindling fortune is still notable. So far this year, his wealth has more than halved to $71 billion, the most of any super-rich tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. With a current net worth of $55.9 billion, his ranking among the world's billionaires has slipped to 20, down from No. 6 at the start of the year, his lowest ranking since 2014, among three Waltons and two. After a member of the Koch family.

Just under two years ago, Zuckerberg, 38, was worth $106 billion and was part of an elite group of global billionaires, second only to Jeff Bezos and Bill. Bill Gates. His fortune soared to a peak of $142 billion in September 2021, when the company's shares traded as high as $382. But just the next month, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be rebranded as Meta, a transition to the metaverse. Since then, Meta has been going downhill, struggling to find a foothold in tech.

Meta's recent earnings report was poor. This began in February, when the company disclosed that Facebook's monthly user growth was not growing, triggering a historic plunge in the stock price that shrunk Zuckerberg's fortune by $31 billion, one of the largest one-day drops in wealth ever. one. Other issues include Instagram's bet on short-form video platform Reels, its answer to TikTok, but its lower ad revenue. The industry as a whole has been hit by a drop in marketing spending amid concerns about an economic slowdown.

Meta's investment in the Metaverse also weighed on the company's shares, said Laura Martin, senior internet analyst at investment bank Needham. Zuckerberg has said he expects the project to lose a "significant amount" of money over the next three to five years . Meta also "had to wrest users back from TikTok," and was hampered by "excessive regulatory scrutiny and interference," Martin said.

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