Zuckerberg's $5 billion week

Facebook's flourishing mobile business serves as a catalyst for a bonkers week of trading that adds up to instant billions for the young CEO.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
2 min read
Facebook Chief Mark Zuckerberg James Martin/CNET

The past six days have been especially fruitful for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has added close to $5 billion in paper earnings from his Facebook holdings, now worth 42 percent more than they were a week ago when Facebook showed off an investor-dazzling second-quarter earnings report.

Zuckerberg, as Facebook's single largest shareholder, has been the biggest beneficiary of a maniacal comeback week for the company. The CEO holds 425 million shares, not including an additional 60 million options. With the social network trading at $37.61 as of market close Tuesday, Zuckerberg's shares are worth around $15.98 billion, which means the executive has added $4.72 billion in paper wealth after just four days of trading.

Facebook's stock has been on a tear since the social network reported second-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 19 cents on $1.81 billion in revenue on July 25. News that the company made 41 percent of its advertising revenue from its nascent mobile business sent shares flying in a 30 percent single-day pop over its prior $26.51 closing price.

Now, a new mobile revenue model is giving investors even more confidence in Facebook's ability to profit from its 819 million active users on mobile. As a result, the company finally returned to within cents of $38 a share on Tuesday, hitting close to its IPO price for the first time since going public 14 months ago.

Of course, Facebook's stock has proved anything but stable, and Zuckerberg still has more than a month to go before he can sell any shares for a liquid gain. In early September, the CEO formally promised not to sell shares for at least 12 months.