2022 was a tough year for tech billionaires like Bezos and Musk

The latest Forbes rich list has been released, and it has some interesting insights regarding the net worth of some of the wealthiest people in the world.
Christopher McFadden
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos

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According to Forbes, Bezos is the third wealthiest individual in the world, with a net worth of $114 billion, despite suffering a staggering $57 billion cut from his net worth over the last year or so. Of course, this is primarily because Amazon's stock dropped by 50%, making it the first publicly traded business to see its market value decline by $1 trillion.

The news came on the heels of Forbes, which on Tuesday revealed its annual ranking of the wealthiest billionaires in the world. The list named Jeff Bezos, the creator of Amazon, the billionaire whose wealth had suffered the most over the previous year.

Since Bezos’ stock has not been sold, this “loss” is only on paper. We doubt he’s had any sleepless nights over it. 

Amazon has had a difficult start to 2023 thus far as well. CEO Andy Jassy, who succeeded Bezos when he stepped down in July 2021, would announce the largest job cuts in the company's history in January. Jassy predicted in March that Amazon would further reduce employment by 9,000 people as it appeared to be a "leaner" business.

This news comes in light of a larger general trend regarding tech firms who have all had a challenging year, and falling stock prices have seriously hurt the fortunes of their founders.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Twitter, came in second on Forbes' list with a net worth of $180 billion ($29 billion down from last year), and Bernard Arnault, the head of luxury goods company LVMH, took first place with a net worth of $211 billion.

Also, according to Forbes, Musk's wealth had decreased because his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, which was financed with Tesla shares, scared investors and caused Tesla stock to drop precipitously last year. Tesla recovered a good portion of those losses this year, but it is still much lower than before Musk acquired Twitter.

According to Forbes, Tesla shares have decreased by 50% since Musk took control of Twitter a year ago, meaning Musk has mostly tweeted himself out of the top spot on the ranks." The magazine points out that the billionaire's one bright spot is SpaceX, whose value has grown by $13 billion to $140 billion in the last year.

This year's list included 313 tech billionaires with a combined net worth of $1.9 trillion, down from 332 tech sector heavyweights worth $2.1 trillion in 2017. Forbes recognized 365 tech billionaires in 2021, a boom year for the sector with a record $2.5 trillion in wealth.

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