This year, tech millionaires have lost hundreds of billions of dollars as stocks have fallen, and several firms have interrupted their decade-long record of constant growth.
Moreover, 2022 was a year to forget for the vast majority of the world’s richest people. According to Forbes, the world’s billionaires collectively lost roughly $2 trillion in 2022.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and formerly one of the world’s richest people, lost about $81 billion in net worth this year. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Facebook founder fell from sixth to 25th place at the end of last year. This year, Meta announced its first two quarterly revenue drops due to growing competition from TikTok and other smaller social media apps and a tougher digital advertising market.
Elon Musk’s net worth fell by $132 billion this year, dwarfing the fortunes of the other affluent individuals on this list. For much of this year, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter, was the richest person in the world. But Musk, who has a large portion of his fortune in Tesla stock, lost that title as Tesla stock plummeted nearly 70% this year.
Jeff Bezos lost $84.1 billion this year as tech stocks dropped from all-time highs and Amazon shares fell over 50%, marking one of the company’s worst years on the market. Amazon’s founder and chairman stepped down as CEO last year, but he remains the company’s largest stakeholder. In addition, Amazon struggled with rising inflation and decreasing growth this year as the big bump in sales it saw during the coronavirus pandemic subsided.
In 2022, the entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Microsoft cofounder lost roughly $29 billion. Gates’ almost 20% drop this year closely equals the S&P 500’s decline, implying that the billionaire’s losses have tracked mainly with a broad barometer for the overall market and an indicator of the economy.
Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, lost more than $20 billion this year as the tech giant’s decline drained his fortune. Most of Ballmer’s fortune is invested in Microsoft stock, where he served as CEO from 2000 until 2014. Despite outperforming other IT titans that rely more on advertising and consumer spending, Microsoft has lost more than a quarter of its worth this year.
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Binance’s cofounder and CEO, lost $83.3 billion. Since the collapse of FTX, which requested help from Binance before declaring bankruptcy, the crypto market has come under scrutiny from investors concerned about their holdings.
Larry Page, a Google co-founder, lost $45.3 billion. Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder, lost $44 billion. Brin and Page collectively lost $89 billion in 2022 as Alphabet, and other tech companies grappled with a challenging year for digital advertising. In 2022, Alphabet slowed hiring and allegedly reduced staff travel and offsite incentives.
In 2022, tech stock prices plunged dramatically. However, IT companies have started to reduce staff and slow new hires to get ready for the uncertain times that lie ahead. If the US Federal Reserve doesn’t stop hiking interest rates, the situation will not improve. An expenditure restriction might push the economy into a recession from which it would take some time to emerge.
Though, 2022 was not a bad year for all IT leaders.
Zhang Yiming, a Chinese internet entrepreneur and the founder of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has seen his wealth increase by more than $10 billion, bringing it close to $55 billion.