Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a 14% shareholding in Meta which helped him to increase his wealth by R572 billion between January and March 2023.
Zuckerberg started Facebook in February 2004 from his dorm room at Harvard University with his roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.
Facebook was initially an online directory for students who attended prominent colleges but expanded to include everyone with an Internet connection.
In 2007, at age 23, he became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, and he took the company public in May 2012.
Facebook’s share price increased by around 890% in the first nine years after listing, peaking at over $380 per share.
However, the market turned and, like many other technology stocks, Facebook, now known as Meta, struggled in 2022.
The company’s share price took a big hit at the beginning of 2022 when management gave revenue forecasts below analysts’ expectations. Meta’s share price plummeted by 26% in a single day.
Investor pain was far from over as a series of interest rate increases and revenue misses pushed the share price down further. By November 2022, Meta had lost 73% in value.
Since then Meta’s share price has made a strong recovery and increased to the most recent share price of $207, representing a 66% increase in the year-to-date performance.
Mark Zuckerberg has a significant shareholding in Meta, holding 367 million shares. This translates to a 14% claim on the company’s net assets.
While he is not a majority shareholder, he controls the company with an iron fist. He maintains a majority vote through Meta’s class B shares which have 10 times the voting power of the regular class A shares.
Through his Meta shareholding, Zuckerberg’s wealth jumped by R572 billion in 2023 on the back of a very strong recovery in Meta’s share price.
Zuckerberg saw the value of his Meta shareholding increase from R818 billion at the start of 2023 to its current value of R1.36 trillion.