Mark Zuckerberg’s fortunes have risen even more, propelling the Facebook founder and CEO into the ranks of the “centibillionaires” — those whose net worth is at least $100 billion.
As of Thursday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the 36-year-old Zuckerberg was the third-richest person in the world, right behind Bill Gates, worth $120 billion, and Jeff Bezos, worth $190 billion. His net worth — the majority of which is derived from a 13% stake in Facebook — is 1,590,552 times the median U.S. household income, Bloomberg reported.
The bump in Zuckerberg’s fortunes occurred as Facebook stock jumped up 6.3% one day after the company’s Wednesday release of Instagram Reels, a short video feature so reminiscent of a certain rival social media network that TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer outright declared it a “copycat product.”
In a July earnings call, Facebook announced that the users of its various apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, had surpassed 3 billion for the first time, with revenue growing 11% to nearly $18.7 billion. The company cited “increased engagement as people around the world sheltered in place” due to the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for the growth.
Zuckerberg, who originally launched Facebook in 2004 from his Harvard University dorm room, may now be in the $100 billion club, but the CEO has also been the recipient of a number of recent headaches. In late July, Zuckerberg was grilled by members of Congress alongside Amazon’s Bezos, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Apple’s Tim Cook on a number of topics, including accusations of stifling competition in the tech industry.
A 100-page independent civil rights audit into Facebook’s business practices also released in July revealed that the company was “far too reluctant to adopt strong rules to limit misinformation and voter suppression.”
Zuckerberg in particular has drawn strong criticism from civil rights groups for failing to limit extremist content and misinformation on Facebook, with Rashad Robinson, president of the nonprofit civil rights group Color of Change, blasting the CEO for “lecturing [activists] on freedom of expression” while continuing to “make policy and products without any kind of understanding of voter suppression, of suppression of voices.”
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