Tale of two billionaires: Bezos and Zuckerberg fortunes go in different directions


By Tom Maloney, Tom Metcalf and Sarah Frier –  Bloomberg

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos just got a whole lot richer following the release of the e-commerce giant’s bumper results, but it was a different story for Mark Zuckerberg after Facebook’s numbers disappointed Wall Street.

Shares of Bezos’s Amazon surged 12 per cent to $US2,100 in extended trading in New York, after the company reported fourth-quarter results that smashed Wall Street estimates.

Bezos, already the world’s richest person, added $US13.2 billion ($20 billion) to his fortune in about 15 minutes – which equates to $22.2 million per second. At the current price, his net worth would be about $US129.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Bezos, 56, owns about 12 per cent of Amazon’s outstanding stock, making up the bulk of his fortune. His ownership of closely held Blue Origin accounts for about $US6.2 billion. The late surge on Thursday added more than $US90 billion to Amazon’s market value, pushing it above $US1 trillion.

His ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, 49, also has reason to celebrate, as she owns about 4 per cent of the Seattle-based retailer. She started the day as the world’s 24th-richest person, with a $US37.1 billion fortune.

Facebook’s disappointing results wiped more than $US5 billion off Zuckerberg’s fortune, as shares in the social media fell sharply a day after it posted its slowest-ever quarterly sales growth.

Facebook said it had 2.89 billion monthly active users of its products around the world, but growth stagnated in the US and Canada on the main social network — the primary source of advertising sales. Monthly active users hit 2.5 billion on the main network as of Decemebr 31, slightly topping analysts’ estimates of 2.49 billion.

Facebook has warned for several quarters that growing at the same rate will be more difficult in the future.

After slipping more than 8 per cent in early trade on Thursday, Facebook pared some of the losses to close 6.1 per cent lower at $US209.53.

The decline left the chief executive officer with an $US80 billion fortune by day’s end.  Zuckerberg, 35, remains the world’s fifth-richest person.

Despite the drop, Zuckerberg’s net worth is still up this year, with his fortune climbing $US1.6 billion in 2020.




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