Mark Zuckerberg is now world's third richest person after his wealth grew by R540bn since crisis
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now worth $87.8 billion (R1.6 trillion), making him the third-richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
- Bloomberg shows that Zuckerberg's net worth grew by $30 billion since March 17
- Despite the pandemic's blow to the economy, Facebook reported better-than-expected numbers for both revenue and users in first-quarter earnings, and added $44 billion to its market value the next morning.
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Despite the economic fallout from the current global pandemic, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has added more than $30 billion (R540 billion) to his wealth in just two months.
The surge in Zuckerberg's net worth has earned him the title of third-richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranking updated on May 21. Zuckerberg is now worth an estimated $87.8 billion (R1.6 trillion), rising above billionaires like Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet and fashion mogul Bernard Arnault.
The surge in Zuckerberg's rankings is likely due to his company's growth even during a time when nearly 40 million US workers have been been laid off. Facebook showed better-than-expected first-quarter earnings reported on April 29. The company beat Wall Street expectations in revenue and daily active users, generating $17.74 billion and attracting 1.73 billion users in the first three months of 2020. The company also reported it had reached 3 billion monthly users across its family of apps, which include Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. By the next morning, Facebook stock jumped as much as 8%, netting the company $44 billion in market value.
However, Facebook said it experienced a "significant reduction" in advertising demand over the last three weeks of the first quarter of 2020. While Q1 earnings for tech companies and social platforms were relatively promising across the board, significant impact to the economy remains to be seen. Second-quarter results - covering business from April 1 to June 30 - may better represent the affect the coronavirus pandemic has had on businesses.
In the last two months, Facebook has also announced expansions of its business into ecommerce and video chatting. Facebook recently debuted Messenger Rooms, a video chat service for up to 50 people at the time as services like Zoom and Houseparty see significant bumps in use. Just this week, Facebook said that the core platform, as well as Instagram, were getting an e-commerce feature called Shops that would allow businesses to add virtual storefronts to their profiles.
Zuckerberg is third on the rankings of the world's richest behind Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.
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