Meta CEO Zuckerberg loses $18bn as stock decline

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

The latest quarterly earnings call for Meta, led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, resulted in a seismic shift in the tech mogul’s net worth. A jaw-dropping loss of $18 billion ensued as Meta’s stock took a sharp nosedive in the aftermath of the call.

Despite Meta exceeding revenue and profit expectations, investor confidence faltered as the company’s revenue forecast fell short of market projections. In response, Zuckerberg took to addressing investors directly, emphasizing Meta’s unwavering commitment to pouring billions into pioneering realms such as artificial intelligence and the burgeoning metaverse, even as the company continues to rely heavily on advertising revenue.

During the call, Zuckerberg candidly acknowledged the inherent volatility of Meta’s stock during phases of product expansion and scale-up, particularly when the monetization of these ventures is still in its nascent stages.

With an estimated ownership of around 345 million Class A and B shares, Zuckerberg bore the brunt of the market’s reaction, watching in dismay as the value of his stake plummeted by a staggering $18 billion. The stock’s tumble, registering a decline of $52.12, saw it settle at a valuation of $152 billion by the close of Thursday’s trading session.

While Zuckerberg has long been an advocate for the potential of the metaverse, Meta’s Reality Labs division has faced substantial setbacks, reporting cumulative losses totaling a whopping $45 billion since 2020. Undeterred by these challenges, Meta outlined plans to ramp up its capital expenditures to an ambitious $35 billion to $40 billion for the year, signaling a steadfast commitment to nurturing future growth avenues.

Zuckerberg’s personal fortune has been closely entwined with Meta’s stock performance over the years, and this latest setback is but one chapter in a narrative marked by highs and lows. Although this loss stands out as a significant blow, it pales in comparison to the staggering $30 billion plunge suffered by Zuckerberg in early 2022. On that fateful day, Meta’s stock plummeted by a startling 26% on the heels of lackluster earnings and tepid guidance, leaving Zuckerberg to reckon with the harsh realities of market volatility.

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