That’ll Leave a Mark: 7 Big Tech Moguls Lost $433 Billion in 2022
Big Tech has had a rough year, with many startups failing and stock prices plummeting. As a result, seven of the world’s tech billionaires have lost a combined $433 billion in total wealth.
The Washington Post reports that tech executives and founders have seen significant losses in their net worth this year as tech stocks have declined and many companies have experienced slowed growth.
The value of tech stocks has declined significantly in 2021, leading to significant losses for executives and founders whose net worth is tied to their company’s performance. One notable example is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook (now known as Meta), who suffered a decline of almost $81 billion in his net worth this year.
However, unsurprisingly, Zuckerberg is far from broke with a remaining net worth of almost $45 billion — more than the GDP of Iceland. And several of the billionaires still have more money than they did in 2019 as the tech market saw accelerated growth during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, highly inflating tech stock value before its recent plunges this year.
In 2022, tech stocks experienced a significant decrease due to the pandemic’s impact on sales. This caused tech companies, which have seen rapid growth in the past decade, to implement hiring freezes and large-scale layoffs.
While some tech executives experienced financial challenges this year, others saw an increase in their wealth. Zhang Yiming, the founder of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, saw his net worth rise by more than $10 billion to nearly $55 billion.
Other tech moguls saw losses, but not to an extremely worrying degree, such as Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison who lost $16 billion this year but has still retained his spot as the seventh-richest person in the world. Similarly, Michael Dell of Dell Technologies saw his net worth drop by around $7 billion, allowing him to remain just ahead of Zuckerberg on the list of the top 25 wealthiest people in the world.
The seven billionaires include Elon Musk, who lost $132 billion in net worth this year and lost the title of world’s wealthiest person. His current net worth is, of course, still huge at $139 billion. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos lost $84.1 billion this year as Amazon shares plunged almost 50 percent, but still retains a fortune of $108 billion.
Google co-founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin saw similar losses, with Page losing $44.6 billion leaving him with a net worth of $83.8 billion and Brin losing $43.4 billion, leaving him with $80.2 billion.
Bill Gates saw a loss of $28.7 billion, leaving his net worth at $109 billion. Gates’ decline roughly matches that of the S&P 500 this year, meaning that these losses have largely tracked with a broad view of the overall market and gauge of the economy. Many of Gates’ losses relate to his various investments in companies, real estate, and farmland. But Gates’ Microsoft shares also shrank by 30 percent having a negative effect on his net worth.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer saw a loss of $20.2 billion this year leaving him with a net worth of $85.5 billion. Similarly to Gates, much of this is related to the decline in Microsoft shares, a company which Ballmer remained CEO of from 2000 to 2014. After retiring from Microsoft, Ballmer purchased the Clippers basketball team for $2 billion.