Tech billionaires lost nearly half a trillion dollars in 2022
The world's 20 richest tech billionaires have lost close to half a trillion dollars in 2022 so far. Fears of a recession and increased interest rates have dipped revenues of tech companies in the U.S., and market valuations of their companies have tumbled thereafter, Wall Street Journal reported.
Mark Zuckerberg might be the poster boy for how falling revenues of tech companies also shrink the personal fortunes of the founders since most of their wealth is associated with stocks of the companies they have founded.
His rebranded company Meta lost a 25 percent valuation on a single day last Thursday after an earnings report disappointed investors. Featured among the top 10 richest people in the world, Zuckerberg has now dropped to 28th on Bloomberg's Billionaire List.
Had Zuckerberg been the only person to have lost ground, it would have been fair to blame it on the founder and CEO's vision to build the metaverse. Zuckerberg's fall might be dramatic, but other tech billionaires haven't fared well either.
How much did billionaires lose in 2022?
Starting from the top of the list, the world's richest person, Elon Musk, along with his number two, Jeff Bezos, have combinedly seen $58 billion of their personal fortune wiped out since January this year.
Musk, who seemed certain to touch $300 billion of personal fortune this year, is now down to $212 billion, while Bezos' wealth is valued at $134 billion after Amazon stock lost seven percent valuation on Friday after a weaker sales quarter.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has seen over $27 billion of his paper wealth shrink in the year, even though his company has posted improvements in revenues. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, though, have lost $40 billion apiece after YouTube reported its first-ever drop in advertisement sales.
Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, who started this year with a personal worth of $107 billion, now finds himself poorer by $14 billion as his wealth is now valued at $93 billion. It is not just the U.S. tech industry that is facing a downturn. Founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, also saw his personal fortune dent by nearly $10 billion this year.
Exceptions to the trend
While established names in the tech industry are seeing a fall in their growth story after two buoyant years of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are also exceptions to the trends, no matter how small.
The name Zhang Yiming may not ring a bell immediately, but the company he founded, ByteDance, is on an upward trajectory with the rising popularity of TikTok. Yiming had added $10 billion to his personal worth, which now stands at nearly $55 billion.
Wireless equipment maker Ubiquiti Inc. is the other company bucking the trend, which has seen its founder's fortunes soar to $14.7 billion.
Nevertheless, the slowing down of revenues for tech giants means that Nasdaq Composite has fallen by 29 percent this year. Tech companies are likely to trim down headcounts in a bid to keep costs under control and prepare for what may come next.
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