Mark Zuckerberg’s cage fighting carries risk of death, Meta warns

Feb 2, 2024

Mark Zuckerberg in hospital

Mark Zuckerberg had surgery last year after tearing a ligament while fighting competitively

Meta has warned investors that Mark Zuckerberg’s martial arts hobby carries the risk of serious injury or death.

The social media giant said that its founder’s fondness for competitive fighting, which saw him undergo surgery for a torn ligament last year, could affect the company if he was sidelined.

In an unusual disclosure to investors, Meta said: “Mr Zuckerberg and certain other members of management participate in various high-risk activities, such as combat sports, extreme sports, and recreational aviation, which carry the risk of serious injury and death.

“If Mr Zuckerberg were to become unavailable for any reason, there could be a material adverse impact on our operations.”

The Meta chief has become increasingly obsessed with mixed martial arts, building an “octagon” in his garden and training with former professionals.

Last year, he discussed setting up a “cage match” with Elon Musk, although talks over the fight went nowhere.

Mr Zuckerberg said later that the Tesla tycoon was not serious about the offer.

Elon Musk MMA

Elon Musk has undertaken MMA training but a mooted fight with Mr Zuckerberg has not taken place

He has also enthusiastically taken up hydrofoiling, a type of surfing, and reportedly obtained a pilot’s licence last year.

US-listed companies are required to disclose various “risk factors” to investors to protect themselves from lawsuits.

The disclosure came as Mr Zuckerberg surpassed Bill Gates as the world’s fourth-richest man.

His net worth swelled to more than $166bn (£132bn) on Friday as Meta shares jumped by 21pc following stellar financial results.

Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, said on Thursday that profits had trebled.

This led to the business unveiling plans to return $50bn to shareholders through share buybacks and pay its first dividend.

In the global rich list, Mr Zuckerberg now sits behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, French luxury magnate Bernard Arnault, and Elon Musk – the world’s richest person with a $205bn net worth.

Mr Bezos regained his status as the world’s second richest person on Friday, overtaking Mr Arnault, after a leap in Amazon shares.

Meanwhile, Mr Musk is at risk of falling behind Mr Bezos after he lost a key legal battle over a $56bn Tesla pay package this week.

Mr Zuckerberg will be a direct beneficiary of Meta’s plans for a quarterly 50 cents-a-share dividend, as he will receive $700m a year from the company.

Meta’s founder receives a $1 salary and no other compensation, with his net worth directly tied to Meta’s share price.

The company does, however, pay for his personal security at a cost of $14m.

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