Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg makes $472 every second
Mark Zuckerberg, worth $34 billion, has become richer than the founders of fellow tech giants Amazon and Google.
Everyone who’s ever found themselves poring over their Facebook timeline will understand why the social network is such a huge business. But it’s interesting to wonder whether, in the early days of the company, Mark Zuckerberg and his friends realised just how quickly it would take off.
Now, virtually everyone and their grandmother has a Facebook profile and the value of the company is through the roof. So massive has the social network become that co-founder, chairman and chief executive Mr Zuckerberg is one of the richest tech executives in Silicon Valley. In fact, he’s now richer than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google.
The figures come from the Forbes 400, the magazine’s rankings of the 400 richest people in the US.
The ranking shows that since last year’s list, Mr Zuckerberg’s wealth has grown by $15 billion (£9.25 billion) to a total of $34 billion.
His income grew more than that of anyone else on the list, and works out at an incredible $472 per second being added to his bulging bank account.
The growth has largely come from the rocketing price of Facebook stock over the past few months. This year the social network acquired social messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock – a massive deal which came as a surprise to many analysts – and another $2 billion on Oculus VR before the virtual reality headset company had even developed a product that was ready to sell.
It may sound like a huge risk to some, but for investors it appears these decisions have been seen as the mark of a financially secure company that is well positioned to tap into the next great tech trends and move onto even greater things. Shares in the company have continued to soar as a result.
Still, Mr Zuckerberg has a long way to go before he can surpass some of the biggest names in business.
Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway investment firm has gone from strength to strength this year, added an extra $8.5 billion to his fortune, leaving him with a net worth of $67 billion.
But top of the pile was the original “tech geek” Bill Gates. Even though he stepped down as chairman this year, his stock in Microsoft ensured his net worth rose by $9 billion to $81 billion in total.