THE CHANGING FORTUNES OF THE WORLD’S RICHEST
The founders of Tesla, Oracle and Airbnb lost billions of dollars this week amid surging market volatility and continued pressure on tech stocks.
espite several days of declines, stock indices finished the week slightly higher, offsetting some of this month’s widespread losses. But the market’s troubles look far from over.
Many tech company CEOs and founders were unsurprisingly among the billionaires whose fortunes fell the most since the market close on Friday, January 21, according to Forbes’ calculations.
Leading the declines for the second week in a row: Tesla chief exec Elon Musk, whose fortune fell $22 billion after shares of his electric vehicle maker had yet another rough week, falling over 10%. Even though Tesla posted record profits after reporting quarterly earnings on Wednesday, investors focused on the company’s warning that supply chain issues may hurt growth in 2022.
Musk also took to Twitter on Thursday to insult President Joe Biden, apparently in response to being snubbed at a White House forum for electric vehicle makers. Still the world’s richest person, Musk now has a net worth of $222.2 billion, according to Forbes’ estimates.
Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison, meanwhile, fell from fifth to eight richest in the world over the course of the week as shares of his software giant sank more than 2%. Ellison, who owns about 35% of Oracle (and has pledged millions of his shares as collateral for loans), saw his fortune drop by $3.4 billion, to $109.2 billion, according to Forbes’ calculations. Shares of Oracle have been on a downward trajectory since last month, when the company confirmed it was planning to acquire medical records company Cerner for nearly $30 billion.
Other notable billionaires whose net worths fell this week include Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and Roblox cofounder David Baszucki. Chesky, who cofounded the home rental company in 2008, dropped $1.1 billion to $11.3 billion, , as shares of Airbnb fell 9% this week. Meanwhile, shares of gaming company Roblox fell nearly 16% since last Friday, shaving roughly $700 million off of Baszucki’s net worth, which now stands at $3.9 billion, Forbes estimates.
Fourth quarter earnings season has so far failed to boost equities as some big name companies posted lackluster results. Combined with investor fears about the Federal Reserve’s tightening monetary policy and upcoming interest rate hikes, the stock market is now on pace for its worst month since March 2020.
As government bond yields surge, investors have continued to rotate out of riskier growth and tech stocks, many of which have been among the hardest hit in the market’s wider sell-off. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which is in correction territory after falling nearly 15% since the start of 2022, is on pace for its worst January ever—and its worst month overall since the financial crisis in October 2008
Other billionaires whose fortunes contracted this week: Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s net worth dropped around $600 million to $7.3 billion, as shares of his cryptocurrency exchange fell 7.5%. Spotify cofounder Daniel Ek similarly lost around $400 million—putting his net worth at $2.9 billion—as shares of his music streaming platform fell nearly 12% since last Friday.
The fortunes of Snap cofounders Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel, declined by $350 million and $250 million, respectively. They’re now worth $6.4 billion and $6.2 billion, after Snap’s stock fell over 5% this week.
The net worth change is from close of markets Friday, January 21 to Friday, January 28.