Mark Zuckerberg went from being a college dropout to one of the world's richest and most influential men, presiding over a sprawling social media empire with an almost unprecedented global reach.
As the CEO of Meta, Zuckerberg controls the direction of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, each of which reaches billions of users and plays crucial roles in how people around the world find information and interact with each other online.
Zuckerberg famously dropped out of Harvard University to focus on building Facebook, the social networking site he co-founded in his dorm room in 2004. Zuckerberg's later acquisition of rivals such as Instagram and WhatsApp further cemented his company's position as the dominant force in the social media industry.
In the process, however, Zuckerberg and his company have faced prolonged scrutiny both for alleged tactics to maintain Meta's dominance in the market and for the impact its apps have on society.
Meta has come under fire for data privacy issues as well as not doing enough to prevent the spread of misinformation and election meddling. In 2021, leaked documents from a Facebook whistleblower forced a public reckoning over Instagram's potential negative impact on younger users.
Meta and Zuckerberg recently released Threads, a rival to Twitter. The app topped 100 million sign-ups in less than a week, fueled in part by dissatisfaction with Twitter under owner Elon Musk.