The Strategist

America's richest tech billionaires lose $315B in one year

10/03/2022 - 04:30

A year ago, the number of American tech billionaires was on the rise, stock prices were setting all kinds of records, and venture capital funds were investing heavily in startups. This year, tech giants are losing money.

Daniel Oberhaus, 2019
Daniel Oberhaus, 2019
Stock prices have dropped, inflation has increased, and the 400 wealthiest Americans according to Forbes have lost $500 billion in value over the past year.

The wealthiest tech billionaires bore the brunt of the decline: since the end of fiscal 2021, they have collectively lost $315 billion in assets, accounting for about two-thirds of the total decline in wealth within the group.

In the 2022 rankings, 65 individuals made their fortunes in technology. Of them, 50 are now 50 percent poorer than they were in 2021.

The largest businessmen were the biggest losers. Jeff Bezos suffered a loss of $50 billion as a result of the 27% drop in the price of Amazon's stock, which caused him to lose first place on the list for the first time in four years (since 2018). The 15% decline in Microsoft stock resulted in a $13.5 billion loss in wealth for former CEO Steve Ballmer.

Zoom, the company that provides video conferencing services, best exemplifies the end of the pandemic boom: over the past year, as workers returned to the office, its quotes plummeted by 73%, which is very bad news for Eric Yuan because his own assets decreased by $10.6 billion as a result.

The market decline has also been felt by others in industries tied to technology. For instance, Mark Zuckerberg's $76.8 billion loss as a result of the decrease in the stock price of his company is not included in the $315 billion in total losses.