Musk, Zuckerberg… the huge sums lost by tech billionaires in 2022

The stock market crash of American tech giants has cost tens of billions of dollars in 2022 to the biggest fortunes on the planet. Long at the top of the ranking of the richest people on Earth, Elon Musk, the head of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, gave up the first place in favor of the French luxury magnate Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Mr. Musk lost 140 billion dollars since January, but he has still maintained the nice 130 billion dollars. The evaporation of more than half of his fortune is mainly due to Tesla’s fall on Wall Street (-69% in 2022 as of December 28).

Previously coddled by investors, the electric car maker has continued to plunge in the stock market since the late October takeover of Twitter by Mr. Musk for $44 billion. From the dismissal of more than half of Twitter’s workforce to Donald Trump’s return to the social network, the stormy entrepreneur’s first months at the helm of the platform were marked by numerous controversies.

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The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has redoubled his efforts to promote the metaverse, this virtual world presented as the future of the Internet by its promoters. Investors are currently far from convinced, as evidenced by the collapse of the action in Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, which has fallen 65.5% since the start of the year. . Mr. Zuckerberg’s fortune shrank from $81 billion to $44.4 billion. Heavily dependent on advertising revenue, Meta also suffered in this sector in a context of global inflation and increased competition.

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More than 86 billion dollars lost by Jeff Bezos

Since stepping down as CEO of Amazon in July 2021, Jeff Bezos has devoted much of his time to space exploration through his company Blue Origin. However, his fortune remains heavily tied to the e-commerce giant’s stock value, which has fallen by more than 51% in 2022. Mr. Bezos, who serves as CEO of Amazon’s board, lost more than $86 billion this year. His fortune is estimated at $106 billion. The 58-year-old entrepreneur, owner of the US daily The Washington Post, told CNN in November that he intended to donate most of his wealth to charity during his lifetime.

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The two founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are no longer at the helm of the company since they left their leading functions in the parent company Alphabet, which also owns YouTube or the electronic messaging service Gmail, in 2019. Mr. However, Page and Brin remain on the board of Alphabet, of which they are the largest individual shareholders. The 40.5% drop since January in Alphabet’s stock, which has suffered from falling ad revenue and faces rivals like TikTok in the entertainment segment, has hit the fortunes of the two men. Mr. Pages fell by $46.1 billion, and Mr. Brin’s was down $44.8 billion. However, with $82.3 and $78.8 billion respectively, they are the 10th and 11th richest people on the planet.

Chinese billionaire Zhang Yiming is an exception to this technological debacle. The fortune of the owner of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, increased by $10.4 billion in 2022 to reach $55 billion, making him the 23rd richest person in the world. But TikTok is in the crosshairs of US authorities, who are concerned about possible links between the popular video-sharing application and Beijing. The Biden administration has approved banning TikTok from federal employee phones and may force ByteDance to sell the US version of the app.

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