The founders of Amazon (AMZN), Meta (META) Platforms, Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOGL) lost a collective $46 billion in wealth this week after Big Tech stocks fell sharply on disappointing financial results. Many of these companies also issued sales growth warnings for the rest of 2022, confirming the industry’s fear of a continuing slowdown of consumer and advertising spending.
Jeff Bezos, the founder and former CEO of Amazon, lost $10 billion after Amazon stock plummeted 20 percent on Oct. 27 following the company’s weak quarterly results and revenue warning. Bezos’ net worth currently stands at $134 billion, placing him as the third richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, cofounders and the largest individual shareholders of Google, also each lost nearly $10 billion this week after Google’s parent company, Alphabet (GOOGL), posted worse-than-expected quarterly earnings. Page and Brin both own about 6 percent of Alphabet, stakes each worth $70 billion, according to Bloomberg. Despite the losses, they remain among the top 10 richest people in the world.
The week's Big Tech slump hit Mark Zuckerberg particularly hard. The cofounder and CEO of Meta, formerly Facebook (META), saw his fortune shrink by nearly $14 billion to $37.7 billion after Meta shares tumbled more than 24 percent on Oct. 26. The social media company reported a 50 percent decline in quarterly profit from the previous year due to an industrywide advertiser pullback and skyrocketing costs stemming from its "metaverse" projects.
Meta stock is down more than 73 percent since its peak in late 2021, erasing $700 billion of its market cap. Zuckerberg's rank on the Bloomberg's billionaires list has dropped from the top 5 to No. 28 in just a year.
Bill Gates, who has reduced his stake in Microsoft in recent years, is the least affected among Big Tech billionaires. He lost $2 billion this week following Microsoft's earnings release on Oct. 25. Although Microsoft's quarterly revenue and profit were better than analysts expected, its bleak sales forecast sent the company's stock down 6 percent after the news.