Coronavirus fears cost Mark Zuckerberg more than $4 billion from his personal fortune in just a week as Facebook’s stock is hit by market volatility

Mark Zuckerberg

  • Mark Zuckerberg lost $4.1 billion last week — more than anyone else on the Forbes Billionaires List — as Facebook shares plummeted amid a market selloff inspired by coronavirus fears, Forbes’ Hayley C. Cuccinello reported.
  • Facebook’s ad sales may shrink as some of its biggest customers in the travel and retail sectors see their sales decline over coronavirus fears.
  • The novel coronavirus has infected over 116,000 people and killed over 4,000, mainly in China.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is $4.1 billion less rich than he was last Monday.

The 35-year-old billionaire’s fortune shrank last week as Facebook shares plummeted amid a larger market sell-off inspired by the growing coronavirus health crisis, Forbes’ Hayley C. Cuccinello reported. The drop in Zuckerberg’s net worth was the largest seen by anyone on the Forbes Billionaires list last week, the magazine reported.

Investors may be wary of the social network’s reliance on the sectors hit worst by coronavirus — travel, retail, consumer packaged goods, and entertainment — for ad revenue, according to Cuccinello. Together, the four industries are responsible for between 30% and 45% of Facebook’s total revenue, Needham analyst Laura Martin wrote in a research note seen by Forbes.

A representative for Zuckerberg at Facebook did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the CEO’s net worth or the state of the company’s ad revenue.

Zuckerberg is now worth $64.2 billion, Forbes estimates. His 13% stake in Facebook is responsible for the vast majority of his wealth, according to Bloomberg. Zuckerberg founded the social network in February 2004 while attending Harvard University, Business Insiderpreviously reported. Facebook shares dropped nearly 7% in the past week, as of the market close on Monday. They rose 2.2% during intraday trading on Tuesday as the market recovered from the largest drop since the financial crisis Monday morning

Zuckerberg isn’t the only tech CEO losing billions amid increased volatility inspired by the coronavirus outbreak

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has also lost more than $18 billion from his net worth in the past month, according to CNBC.

The ultra-wealthy are often disproportionately affected by market sell-offs, and their investment choices may be to blame. Billionaires fared worse than ordinary 401k millionaires during the stock market meltdown at the end of 2018, Business Insider reported. Billionaires across the globe lost 7% of their collective net worth in 2018 due to market instability at the end of that year, Wealth-X found in its 2019 Billionaire Census. In its 2019 World Wealth Report, Capgemini found that individuals with net worths between $1 million and $5 million lost less than those with net worths over $30 million and billionaires during that market rout.

Over 116,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus and over 4,000 have died, Business Insider reported. While there are now confirmed cases on every continent except Antarctica, the vast majority are in China. Researchers believe the virus originated in bats and may have jumped from animals to people at a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.


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