It is safe to say that at this precise moment in time, Mark Zuckerberg is probably marginally stressed. After it was revealed that Facebook has been more or less entirely aware that organisations have been trafficking in data the platform willingly gave to app developers, the company has been in pure panic mode.
And so have investors, it turns out: Zuckerberg’s personal net worth has plummeted by an eye-watering $9 billion.
Facebook stock has dropped by 9% over the past few days, as the news gets worse and worse when it comes to the Cambridge Analytica story, and inviting questions about exactly what else the data from the early wild west days of Facebook apps is being used for.
Ther’es been complete radio silence from Zuckerberg and Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg over the controversy, and the company has issued a statement saying the pair are working “around the clock” on dealing with the problem
Mark, Sheryl and their teams are working around the clock to get all the facts and take the appropriate action moving forward, because they understand the seriousness of this issue.
A so-called ‘crisis meeting’ took place at Facebook today where employees were encouraged to ask questions about the unfolding Cambridge Analytica scandal. The meeting was run by Paul Grewal, a Facebook lawyer, and Zuck was not present. Whether or not it was because he was in his bedroom screaming into a pillow is unknown.
Looking beyond the stock drops, it’s genuinely up in the air as to whether this will have a lasting impact on the way Facebook does business. On the one hand, they’ve absolutely weathered storms like this before, and kept doing things more or less the way they always have. But on the other hand, this one is actually inviting some more intense legislative scrutiny – and people are specifically pissed because of the explicit connection to Donald Trump‘s victory.
Either way, Zuck is currently $9 billion poorer – but is still, I stress, unbelievably rich. He probably barely noticed.