Zuckerberg in January said he was going to adjust the news feed to make sure people spend more time on Facebook with meaningful content from their friends and family members - a move the company has said would decrease user engagement with the site.
His fortune tumbled by $16.8 billion in late trading Wednesday, as shares of the social media giant slid 20 percent at 5:37 p.m.in NY on disappointing results. That figure includes some $2.7 billion in cash and real estate, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire index. Fourteen analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $13.43 billion.
The social media site had a rough hump day as the company was below the mark with its sales and its global daily active users during its second quarter of fiscal 2018, due in part to the slew of data leaks and fake news fiascos that plagued the company during the period. The social media company posted revenue of $13.2 billion in the period, also short of Wall Street estimates. The quarter was also marked by Europe's implementation of strict new data laws, which Facebook said led to fewer daily visitors in that region.
Zuckerberg's paper losses come after Facebook revealed mixed earnings and slowing growth during the second quarter of 2018. Facebook lost about $130 billion in market value in just two hours, its steepest stock decline ever, and the personal wealth of Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg also took a major hit, Mark Zuckerberg lost almost $17 billion in just two hours on Wednesday. And the company told Wall Street the numbers won't get any better this year.
"There is never a "right time" for a transition like this, but the team and the company boast incredible talent and will navigate this well", Stretch said on his Facebook page.
The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.75 per share.
Separately Wednesday, Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch, who advised the company through a series of probes and investigations into data privacy, said he would be leaving for personal reasons.
Facebook saw monthly active users in Europe decline about 1 million people amid the new regulations, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on the conference call.
Facebook's daily active users for the quarter were 1.47 billion, shy of the 1.49 billion forecast by StreetAccount and FactSet.
The social network beat the predicted $1.72 earnings per share, reporting $1.74.
Despite its quarterly disappointment for many investors, Facebook-whose shares were up 23% this year as of Wednesday's market close-is in an enviable position.
Instagram has grown to 1 billion monthly users from 600 million in late 2016, while Facebook's two messaging apps, Messenger and WhatsApp have each reported well over 1 billion monthly users.
That places Zuckerberg, who had been the world's third-richest person, at No. 6, below billionaires including Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, French business magnate Bernard Arnault, and Zara founder Amancio Ortega. The company said headcount was 30,275 as of June 30 - an increase of 47 percent year over year.