The stock market crash of the American technology giants cost tens of billions of dollars in 2022 for the greatest fortunes on the planet.
Here is the list of billionaires who lost the most dollars this year:
Long at the top of the rankings of the richest people on Earth, Elon Musk, head of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, has relinquished the top spot in favor of French luxury magnate Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk has lost $140 billion since January, still retaining a tidy $130 billion.
The evaporation of more than half of his fortune is mainly due to Tesla’s fall on Wall Street (-69% in 2022 as of Dec. 28).
Previously pampered by investors, the electric vehicle maker’s stock has continued to plummet on the stock exchange since the acquisition, at the end of October, of Twitter by Musk for 44 billion dollars.
From the dismissal of more than half of Twitter’s workforce to Donald Trump’s return to the social network, the first months of the tempestuous businessman at the head of the platform were marked by several controversies.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has redoubled his efforts to promote the metaverse, that virtual world touted as the future of the internet by its promoters.
Investors are currently far from convinced, as evidenced by the collapse of the stock in Meta, parent company of Facebook and Instagram, which is down 65.5% since the start of the year.
Zuckerberg’s fortune has shrunk from $81 billion to $44.4 billion.
Highly dependent on advertising revenues, Meta has also suffered in this sector, in a context of global inflation and increased competition.
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.
His wealth, however, remains heavily tied to the e-commerce giant’s share value, which has dropped more than 51% in 2022.
Bezos, who serves as executive director of Amazon’s board, has lost more than $86 billion this year. His net worth is estimated at $106 billion.
The 58-year-old businessman, who owns The Washington Post, told CNN in November that he intended to donate most of his wealth to charity during his lifetime.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Google’s two founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are no longer at the helm of the company since stepping down from their leadership roles in 2019 at parent company Alphabet, which also owns YouTube or the Gmail messaging service.
MM. Page and Brin, however, remain on Alphabet’s board of directors, in which they are the largest individual shareholders.
The 40.5% drop since January in shares of Alphabet, which has suffered from falling advertising revenue and is battling rivals such as TikTok in the entertainment space, has taken a toll on the two men’s fortunes.
Page’s was down $46.1 billion and Brin’s was down $44.8 billion.
With 82.3 and 78.8 billion dollars respectively, they are nevertheless the 10th and 11th richest people on the planet.
Chinese billionaire Zhang Yiming is an exception to this technological disaster.
The fortune of the owner of ByteDance, parent of TikTok, increased by US$ 10.4 billion in 2022 to reach US$ 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 app and Beijing.
The Biden administration has approved a ban on TikTok from federal employees’ phones and may force ByteDance to sell the US version of the app.