Facebook parent Meta’s founder Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth surged by $10 billion on Thursday after its shares rose as much as 16 percent to hit an intraday high of $241.
Meta shares ended 14 percent higher after the earnings report, lifting Zuckerberg’s fortune to $87.3 billion and boosting him up a notch on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to 12th place, news agency Bloomberg reported.
Meta beat expectations for first-quarter profit and revenue, which rose for the first time in nearly a year, the latest sign that American tech giants were digging themselves out of a slump that has sparked tens of thousands of layoffs, news agency Reuters reported.
Thursday’s move reversed the wealth destruction Zuckerberg experienced in 2022 when his net worth fell 57% — or $71 billion — after a costly pivot to the metaverse and an industry-wide slump stirred concern over the company’s growth prospects.
The billionaire used Thursday’s results to burnish his case for pressing on with investments in areas like artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
“Our Artificial Intelligence work is driving good results across our apps and business. We are also becoming more efficient so we can build better products faster and put ourselves in a stronger position to deliver our long-term vision.”
Meta started laying off technical staff earlier in April as part of the latest round of job cuts. Zuckerberg had announced that 2023 would be the “year of efficiency,” as the company made efforts to make its operations leaner.
The layoffs appear to have paid off for Meta, at least as far as their share prices are concerned. Despite plummeting in 2022, Meta’s share prices have bounced back quite considerably this year.
Meta has made two major announcements concerning job cuts over the past six months. In November 2022, Zuckerberg confirmed that 11,000 employees would be made redundant.
Then in March, Meta announced a further 10,000 employees would lose their jobs. At the time, Zuckerberg described the difficult decision as a “humbling wake-up call”.
Zuckerberg’s wealth rises, Musk’s drops
Of the ten richest persons in the world, eight [ranking 2 to 9] belong to the United States. French luxury clothing magnate Bernard Arnault continues to be the richest person on the planet with $195 billion net worth.
Arnault is followed by Elon Musk [$164 billion], Jeff Bezos [$126 billion], Bill Gates [$121 billion], Warren Buffett [$110 billion], Larry Ellison [$108 billion], Steve Ballmer [$103 billion], Sergey Brin [$95.3 billion] and Francoise Bettencourt Meyers [$88.9 billion].
In contrast to Zuckerberg, Elon Musk’s wealth dropped by almost $13 billion last week over the course of just a single day. The dramatic financial nosedive occurred amid tumultuous times at all three of Musk’s major companies, Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk’s wealth declined by $12.6 billion to $164 billion. It was the biggest decline in wealth recorded thus far this year.
The slide in Musk’s net worth coincided with a sharp fall in Tesla’s share prices, the explosion of SpaceX’s Starship, and the disappearance of the coveted blue checkmarks on Twitter for many verified users.
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