Jeff Bezos’ Enormous Fortune Balloons by $20 Billion as Zuckerberg and Musk Stumble — What’s Behind the Surge?

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In the battle of the mega-billionaires, Jeff Bezos has had a much better couple of weeks than either Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk, as evidenced by both the surge in net worth of the former and dramatic decreases to the latter.

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While Zuckerberg lost about $30 billion of personal wealth in a single day and Musk watched his net worth collapse more than $26 billion last week, Bezos was set to add $20 billion to his personal wealth following a strong earnings report from Amazon, Reuters reported.

Amazon’s stock price was up about 16% in afternoon trading Friday, a day after the e-commerce giant posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and logged a gain of nearly $12 billion from its investment in electric vehicle company Rivian. Amazon also said it would raise the annual price of Prime subscriptions in the United States, putting its stock in position to enjoy its biggest one-day percentage gain since 2009.

Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chairman, owns about 9.9% of the company, Reuters said, citing data from Refinitiv data. He ranks as the world’s third richest person behind Musk and Bernard Arnault, according to Forbes’ most recent rankings.

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Forbes estimates that Bezos’ net worth reached $177 billion in 2021, a gain of 57% from the previous year. He and other Amazon shareholders have benefited from a surge in online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook parent Meta, saw his net worth sink by $29.8 billion on Thursday following his company’s disappointing Q4 results. As GOBankingRates reported, that was the second-biggest single-day loss in history.

Tesla CEO Musk had the biggest one-day loss in November, when his personal wealth tumbled by $35 billion after tweeting that he might sell 10% of his Tesla stake. Musk also lost $25.8 billion from his net worth last week, according to Bloomberg.

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Meta’s share price tanked 26% on Thursday, which wiped out $200 billion of market cap to set another single-day record. Zuckerberg owns just less than 13% of the company. Meta’s stock rebounded some on Friday, rising about 0.20% in afternoon trading.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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