Following Meta’s quarterly results far exceeding Wall Street’s expectations, the net worth of Facebook’s co-founder soared by $28.1 billion, reaching $170.5 billion, surpassing Bill Gates to claim the fourth spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This marks a significant rebound for Zuckerberg, whose wealth had plummeted to below $35 billion in late 2022 amidst a tech stock collapse due to inflation and interest rate hikes, only to surge back in 2023.
Additionally, Zuckerberg stands to gain from Meta’s announcement of its first-ever dividend for investors, set at 50 cents per share for Class A and B common stock starting in March. With approximately 350 million shares, Zuckerberg is poised to receive around $175 million in each quarterly payout before taxes.
This move by Meta signals a shift in the company’s perspective on growth potential, as traditionally, fast-growing tech firms refrain from dividends to reinvest earnings into product development or acquisitions. Despite Meta’s substantial investments in artificial intelligence, regulatory hurdles have limited its acquisition prospects.
With Meta’s strategic shifts, including significant workforce reductions and increased focus, its stock nearly tripled in 2023. The introduction of dividends and a $50 billion share buyback program are aimed at garnering investor patience as Zuckerberg continues his long-term investments in artificial intelligence and the metaverse.
In terms of compensation, Zuckerberg received $27.1 million in total compensation for 2022, inclusive of private security expenses and a nominal base salary of $1. However, Meta has yet to disclose executive compensation for the previous year.