Zuckerberg Loses $3 Billion in a Week as Tech Titans Fall
Mark Zuckerberg, the 29-year-old co-founder of Facebook Inc., lost $3.1 billion this week amid a decline in bank and technology stocks.
The world’s largest social network plummeted 11 percent after the company announced it would buy virtual-reality firm Oculus VR Inc. for at least $2 billion. Zuckerberg is the 22nd-richest person on Earth with a $27 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Investor concern about the Federal Reserve’s schedule for scaling back its bond purchases, Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea and possible weakness in first-quarter earnings reports have introduced a “healthy cautiousness” into the market, said John Carey, a portfolio manager at Pioneer Investment Management Inc. in Boston, which manages about $200 billion.
“With regard to frothy, speculative stocks, some people are saying maybe it’s time to take a few chips off the table,” Carey said in a phone interview.
The technology-centric Nasdaq 100 Stock Index fell 2.2 percent during the week while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.5 percent to close at 1,857.62 in New York.
Google Inc. co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page lost a combined $3 billion as the world’s largest Internet search engine prepares to issue 330 million nonvoting C Class shares next week to cement the founders’ control of the company.
The fortune of Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com Inc., fell $1.9 billion after the world’s largest online retailer announced it would cut prices for cloud services on Wednesday, a day after Google cut its prices. The new prices go into effect on April 1 for both Amazon and Google.
Tesla Motors Inc. Chairman Elon Musk, whose fortune ballooned to $12 billion in late February, lost $634 million this week as the electric carmaker tumbled 7 percent. The Palo Alto-based company announced it will add new battery shields underneath its Model S electric-powered sedans. U.S. regulators ended on Wednesday a four-month investigation into fires that occurred after the cars struck road debris.
The technology sector’s performance this week was punctuated by the initial public offering of King Digital Entertainment Plc. Shares of the Candy Crush (KING) gamemaker tumbled almost 20 percent in three days of trading. The drop was the worst of any U.S. public offering since textbook-renter Chegg Inc. slumped 23 percent in mid-November. King’s collapse cost its Chairman Melvyn Morris $157 million, according to the Bloomberg index.
Larry Ellison, the 69-year-old founder of Oracle Corp., added $1.7 billion to his net worth, making him the week’s biggest gainer. The world’s largest database company advanced 5.5 percent, its biggest weekly jump since December. Ellison is ranked 8th in the world with a $44.3 billion fortune.
Bill Gates remains the world’s richest person with a net worth of $79 billion. Gates is followed by Mexico’s Carlos Slim, who has a $65.5 billion fortune, and Spain’s Amancio Ortega, who has a net worth of $63.8 billion.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York and listed in U.S. dollars.
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