Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw his wealth soar by more than $28 billion in a single morning, thanks to a record surge in the company’s stock price.

Zuckerberg, who already ranks among the richest people in the world with a net worth of over $140 billion, according to Bloomberg’s billionaire index, benefited from Meta’s announcement of its first-ever cash dividend program on Friday.

 Mark Zuckerberg Net worth skyrockets as the Meta stock reaches a new all-time high of $474.87
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Meta, speaks at Meta headquarters in Menlo Park during the Meta Connect event on September 27, 2023.

The news boosted Meta’s shares (META) by more than 20%, reaching a new all-time high of $474.87. The company said it would pay a quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share on March 26 to shareholders of record as of February 22.

Zuckerberg, who owns about 350 million shares of Meta, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, stands to receive an extra $175 million in dividends this quarter. If the dividend rate remains unchanged, he could pocket an additional $700 million per year, just for holding the stock.

However, not everyone is happy with Meta’s dividend decision. Some critics argue that dividends are a way of rewarding shareholders at the expense of investing in the company’s employees, products, and innovation. They also claim that dividends artificially inflate the stock price, without reflecting the true value of the company.

Meta’s stock performance also overshadowed the potential backlash from Zuckerberg’s recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he faced tough questions about the impact of his products on young people.

Zuckerberg was grilled about internal Meta documents that revealed the company’s estimate of the lifetime value of a teen user at $270, as well as Meta’s transparency about how it monetizes user data.

Zuckerberg apologized to the parents who attended the hearing, saying that their children had been harmed by social media.

“I’m sorry for everything you have all been through,” he said. “No one should go through the things that your families have suffered and this is why we invest so much and we are going to continue doing industry wide efforts to make sure no one has to go through the things your families have had to suffer.”

The hearing was part of a broader effort by lawmakers to hold tech companies accountable for the content and effects of their platforms, especially on children and teens. Meta and other tech giants are facing increasing scrutiny and regulation from Congress, as well as lawsuits and investigations from state attorneys general and federal agencies.


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