The personal wealth of Meta overlord Mark Zuckerberg has plummeted by $71 billion in 2022 alone, according to Bloomberg. While Wall Street has been having a rough year in general, the decline of Zuck’s fortunes is the biggest seen among any of the billionaires.
Zuckerberg still has a total net worth of $54 billion, but he now stands as the 20th richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In January 2022, he was 4th, and less than two years ago he was 3rd.
Many of the big-name tech billionaires have seen sinking wealth since the start of 2022. Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Bring, Steven Ballmer, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Elon Musk are all down billions of dollars this year.
This is because tech stocks have fallen across the board this year – however, Meta has seen some of the steepest declines. For the very first time since its inception, the company saw revenue drops in the second quarter of 2022.
There are a number of reasons behind this demise.
Firstly, Meta is facing stiff competition from its younger rivals, most notably TikTok which is managing to capture a younger and more dynamic audience.
Secondly, the social network has been wracked with a number of high-profile scandals in the psat few days. There was the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal in 2018, which raised serious concerns about privacy and data protection, and more recently whistle blowers have spoken out against some the company’s practices.
Last but not least, the company's bold plan to launch the metaverse has been a bit of a flop so far. In October 2021, Facebook changed its name to Meta Platforms to "reflect its focus on building the metaverse," a virtual reality environment that links all of the company's products.
Meta has been pouring billions of dollars and heaps of resources into this lofty project, but it has failed to capture peoples’ attention. Many have poked fun at the metaverse’s poor graphics, while others have gone further to denounce the project as a “dystopian” and a danger to humanity.