Facebook’s stock plummeted this week following news that Cambridge Analytica misused 50 million Facebook users’ data. And the controversy also hit Mark Zuckerberg’s wallet.
The CEO, whose wealth largely comes from his roughly 403 million shares of Facebook stock (he only takes a $1 salary), lost $10 billion over the past week as the Cambridge Analytica crisis played out.
Facebook’s stock closed on Friday at 159.39, down 5.50 from its open on Friday and down 17.44 points from the week. As such, Zuckerberg lost more than $2 billion on Friday alone.
The decline in Facebook stock and Zuckerberg’s wealth started earlier in the week. By Monday afternoon, Zuckerberg already lost $6.06 billion after the Cambridge Analytica news sparked controversy over the handling of personal data.
It’s been a rough week for the Facebook CEO. By Monday, Zuckerberg had already lost $6.06 billion after the Cambridge Analytica news sparked controversy over the handling of personal data. Zuckerberg’s total net worth, estimated by Bloomberg, went from $74.8 billion on Thursday, March 8, to $67.3 Thursday, March 15. Zuckerberg still ranks as one of the richest people in the world, though, currently sitting in the number seven spot, even with the recent dip.
Facebook announced last Friday it was suspending Cambridge Analytica, a group that has claimed to have helped get President Donald Trump elected, after learning that the group misused the data of up to 50 million users. Cambridge Analytica said it deleted the data and none of it was used for its services with Trump. However, the company also suspended CEO Alexander Nix pending an investigation.
Zuckerberg waited until Wednesday to respond to the controversy, at which point he issued a statement on Facebook and gave interviews outlining how the incident happened and a three-step plan to prevent a similar situation.
Zuckerberg said the app “thisisyourdigitallife,” originally created by Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan, was released in 2013, before Facebook rolled back access that apps had to users and their friends lists, which is why 50 million users were affected when only about 300,000 people downloaded the app. The data was then passed on to Cambridge Analytica, which was instructed to delete the information years prior.