Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth fell $11 billion on Thursday to $36 billion as the company’s shares plummeted a day after it reported dismal quarterly earnings.
Meta shares fell 25% to $97.94 on Thursday, pushing the stock to its lowest point since December 2016. In its third quarter earnings released late Wednesday, the social media giant reported a 50% decline in profits and revenue sliding by 4%, far below analyst expectations.
To make matters worse, Meta’s virtual and augmented reality division has lost a whopping $9.4 billion this year through September 30 trying to create the metaverse. On that front, Meta appears to be failing miserably.
“Look, I get that a lot of people might disagree with this investment. But from what I can tell, I think that this is going to be a very important thing, and I think it would be a mistake for us to not focus on any of these areas, which I think are going to be fundamentally important to the future,” Zuckerberg said in the company’s earnings call on Wednesday after the U.S. stock market closed.
The stock decline knocked Zuckerberg down from the 25th richest person in the world as of market close Wednesday to the 29th richest as of market close Thursday, according to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaire tracker.
It hasn’t been a great year for Zuckerberg. Meta stock was flying high during the pandemic and reached its peak on September 7, 2021, bumping Zuckerberg’s fortune to $136.4 billion. Since then, Meta’s stock price has cratered by 74% and Zuckerberg has lost $100 billion, nearly three-fourths of his fortune at its peak.
Beyond the losses in its metaverse unit, Meta is facing fierce competition from TikTok for ad dollars—the source of the majority of its revenue—as well as a broader advertiser pullback amid concerns about an impending recession.
Adding to its advertising woes, the social network is still reeling from privacy changes made by Apple last year that make it harder for tech companies to track users across apps, which has cut into its ad revenue.