After a global outage of Facebook services and the company’s ongoing investigation by US lawmakers plunging its stock, Arch Zuckerberg has seen his net worth drop by billions in a matter of hours.
Facebook stock closed down 4.9% on Monday in New York after the company shut down service after the company left WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and other products offline for hours. Service was restored at 3.30 a.m. Tuesday and the company blamed “faulty configuration changes” for the incident.
The outage scared off investors who sold off Facebook’s stock. Stocks were already under pressure in recent weeks after several damaging revelations from a whistleblower.
According to the Businesshala Billionaires Index, the recession meant that Mark Zuckerberg wiped out nearly $6.1 billion of his net worth the previous day. Zuckerberg became the fifth richest person in the world behind Microsoft founder Bill Gates, LVMH boss Bernard Arnault, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla boss Elon Musk.
According to Businesshala, Zuckerberg’s net worth is currently $ 121.6 billion. That’s down from August’s $142 billion. Facebook’s stock – the source of Zuckberg’s wealth – has come under constant pressure in recent weeks after a whistleblower reported damaging internal documents to the Wall Street Journal.
The documents cover internal research conducted by the company regarding its impact on the world. The most damaging finding is that Instagram can have a negative impact on teenage girls’ self-esteem and body confidence.
The whistleblower, Frances Haugen, is due to testify before the UK Senate at 3 pm today for a hearing convened in the wake of the leak. Facebook shares came under further selling pressure during his testimony.
Unmasking herself, Haugen appeared on the US news program 60 Minutes on Sunday. She told the program: “There was a conflict of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook repeatedly chose to optimize for its own interests, such as making more money.”
Facebook has said the leaked documents have been misrepresented and underestimated the implications of their content.
Shares of the company have fallen 13% since the Wall Street Journal published the first article in its multi-part investigation, dubbed the Facebook Files.