10 billionaires who lost the most money in 2022, ranked: from Elon Musk’s Twitter buyout and Bill Gates’ philanthropy, to Jeff Bezos’ falling net worth from Amazon and Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta troubles
US$1.4 trillion: that’s how much the 500 wealthiest people in the world cumulatively lost in 2022 alone, Bloomberg has reported. To put that into perspective, that’s about as much as Spain’s GDP last year, which was US$1.43 trillion in 2021, according to The World Bank.
With the global economy in a downturn – the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs called the economic outlook “bleak”– not even the world’s wealthiest have been spared from financial woes.
So who are the billionaires who have seen their net worth drop the most? Most of the biggest losers are from Big Tech companies, many of which reported disappointing earnings in September and October.
Here’s a rundown of the top 10 billionaires who have lost the most so far this year according to Business Insider – and why.
10. Microsoft’s Bill Gates: US$27.3 billion
In July, Gates announced on Twitter: “I plan to give virtually all of my wealth to the foundation. I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people.”
According to the BBC, Gates paired that announcement with a US$20 billion donation to his philanthropic fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
9. L’Oréal’s Françoise Bettencourt Meyers: US$30.7 billion
8. Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott: US$31.7 billion
Like Gates, MacKenzie Scott saw a decrease in her net worth as a result of her philanthropic efforts. After her divorce from her Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Scott received 25 per cent of Bezos’ stake in Amazon, amounting to around 4 per cent of the company.
7. Google’s Sergey Brin: US$38.1 billion
6. LVMH’s Bernard Arnault: US$38.2 billion
5. Google’s Larry Page: US$39.2 billion
Page, who co-founded Google and shares 12 per cent of Alphabet stocks with Sergey Brin, per CNBC, saw a similar decrease in his net worth to his co-founder. His losses amounted to US$39.2 billion, likely also due to Alphabet’s missed targets and declining YouTube ad revenue in its September report.
4. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: US$65.7 billion
Amazon founder and executive chairman Bezos has been seeing his net worth decline for a while now: the New York Post reported that his net worth has fallen by more than US$90 billion since July 2021.
This year, he shed US$65.7 billion and even lost as much as US$23 billion overnight on October 27 after his online retail company predicted slower sales for the holidays. However, stock prices rebounded by the opening bell of the following day, reducing his overnight loss to US$7.5 billion.
3. Tesla’s Elon Musk: US$66.4 billion
The acquisition caused Musk to have a US$9 billion drop in net worth, according to Time magazine. He now faces several financial challenges in turning the business around, as Twitter has failed to turn an annual profit in three of the last five years. According to Forbes, Musk also faced financial losses earlier in the year too, when shares of Tesla fell by 8 per cent in May.
2. Binance’s Changpeng Zhao: US$72.6 billion
Binance released a report in September announcing that “the crypto market is crashing hard”. The crash was attributed to macroeconomic factors, as the US dollar showed increased strength versus bitcoin, the most famous cryptocurrency.
1. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: US$87.3 billion
- LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault has not been immune to rising inflation, which has wiped US$38 billion off his fortune, while Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin missed revenue targets
- Françoise Bettencourt Meyers’ L’Oréal suffered due to China’s zero-Covid policy, but Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos’ ex MacKenzie Scott gave huge chunks of their fortunes away