The Facebook co-founder and CEO lost $4.9 billion in wealth Monday as shares of the social network giant tumbled more than 6% in one of its worst days since 2012.
The plunge continued Tuesday, with investors sending Facebook shares down another 2.6% to close at $168.15, which translated into another $1.8 billion loss for Zuckerberg.
The two-day loss of $6.7 billion put Zuckerberg’s net worth at $68.6 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
He is listed as the world’s fifth wealthiest person behind Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, and Spain’s retail magnate Amancio Ortega.
Zuckerberg’s financial hit could have been even worse.
He likely avoided millions of dollars more in losses by selling more than 7.3 million in Facebook shares since September of 2017, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show.
The transactions were part of the plan Zuckerberg announced that month to sell 35 million to 75 million Facebook shares over an 18-month period. The sales are designed to fund philanthropic goals in education, science and advocacy for Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, the filings show.
Zuckerberg still held more than 8.2 million Facebook shares after the most recent sale this month, the filings show.
Facebook shares sank 6.8% Monday on news that a data-mining firm connected to the Trump presidential campaign was able to get personal information on tens of millions of the social network’s users and use that data to create detailed profiles and target voters.
The company suspended Cambridge Analytica for the transmission of the data which Facebook says is a violation of its rules.
The scandal has raised serious privacy concerns among its users and fears among investors that Facebook could be facing an increase in regulatory scrutiny.
Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican John Kennedy have called Facebook leader Mark Zuckerberg to appear before Congress, along with CEOs of Google and Twitter. Both lawmakers said the companies “have amassed unprecedented amounts of personal data” and that the lack of surveillance “raises concerns about the integrity of the US elections and the privacy rights.”
Senator Ron Wyden asked Facebook to provide more information about what he described as “disturbing” misuse of private data that could have been used to influence voters. Wyden said he wanted to know how Cambridge Analytica used the Facebook tools “to arm detailed psychological profiles against tens of millions of Americans.”
In Europe, officials expressed a similar feeling of indignation. Vera Jourova, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, described the revelations as “horrifying, if confirmed” and pledged to respond to concerns in the United States this week. In Britain, parliamentary committee chairman Damian Collins said Cambridge Analytica and Facebook had questions to answer.
“We repeatedly asked Facebook how companies were acquiring and storing user data on their site, especially if the data had been collected from people without their consent, ” Collins said in a statement. Alexander Nix is the managing director of Cambridge Analytica, who denied abusing Facebook data for his work on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research said the revelations highlight “Systemic Problems on Facebook”, but they will not have an immediate impact on social network revenues.