Silicon Valley’s Stock Funk

Sliding shares of newly public Internet companies are depressing employees—and their finances—after years of long hours and high expectations.

Rank-and-file workers at four of the highest profile Internet companies that began selling shares in the past 16 months have collectively lost about $9 billion on paper since their initial public offerings, according to calculations by compensation researcher Equilar Inc. and The Wall Street Journal.

Most of that decline—$7.2 billion—is at Facebook Inc. The average nonexecutive Facebook employee remains enviably flush, holding stock or stock options valued at an average of roughly $2.5 million as of Friday.

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