Mark Zuckerberg has just become a centibillionaire after shares in Facebook surged this week.
The Facebook CEO’s net worth surpassed $100 billion for the first time on Thursday, August 6, after the company released its competitor for TikTok, Reels.
The 36-year-old has become only the third person in the world to achieve centibillionaire status, joining Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates in the ranks of the world’s ultra rich. And there was me thinking I was loaded because I saved a tenner on my Tesco shop this week…
The Facebook CEO co-founded the social media platform from his Harvard dorm room in 2004, with his biggest asset still being his 13% stake in the company, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires index.
Zuckerberg’s wealth increased after stock in Facebook Inc. climbed by 6.5% on Thursday, the day after it launched Reels on Instagram. The launch comes as US President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok, the Chinese-owned app that has grown in popularity in recent years.
On the same day Facebook launched competitor Reels, Trump made good on his threat, issuing an executive order that would block TikTok from operating in the United States if ByteDance doesn’t sell the business to a US firm within 45 days.
The introduction of Reels also came just one week after Facebook reported strong earnings, with a statement from the company last Thursday boasting a new record of three billion users across its platforms.
The company noted it had benefited as more people around the world stayed home because of the pandemic, pushing up its engagement numbers over the quarter that ended in June. As a result, Facebook shares are up almost 30% so far this year, adding $22 billion to Zuckerberg’s wealth.
This is a similar trend to that seen within the tech industry; despite the US economy contracting at a record rate, the founders of America’s largest tech firms have seen huge levels of wealth accumulation this year during the global health crisis.
Currently, the five largest American tech companies – Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft – have market valuations equivalent to about 30% of US gross domestic product, nearly double what they were at the end of 2018.
And while Zuckerberg has seen his wealth increase by $22 billion this year, Jeff Bezos – the world’s richest man – has gained more than $75 billion during this time. In fact, just this week, both Zuckerberg and Bezos made $7 billion in a single day.
Here’s hoping they donate some of their wealth to those who need it in these trying times.
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