Mr. Zuckerberg’s wealth shrank by £6.6bn ($8.7bn) since last year, with over a third of his share’s value slashed due to data privacy rows, Forbes reported on Tuesday.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was knocked to eighth place on Forbes’ 33rd annual 2019 list of billionaires following a year of scandals over UK political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, which revealed that over 87m Facebook users had their data compromised by the shadowy organisation.
Whilst Facebook’s financial reports indicated a 30 percent increase in revenues and 61 percent increase in year-on-year earnings, 2018 was plagued with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and data breaches which placed the US social media giant under the scrutiny of both the US and UK governments.
Zuckerberg’s shares also plummeted nearly ($20bn) in late July 2018, according to Forbes, falling 16 percent to $181.89 and haemorrhaging the CEO’s wealth to roughly £64bn, dropping him from the world’s fourth richest person to the eighth in a matter of hours.
The Forbes Billionaire list showed that there are fewer billionaires in the world, mainly in the Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) regions. But there were more billionaires in the Americas, led by more capital in the US and Brazil, have more billionaires than the previous year at 609 in the US alone, with 14 of the world’s wealthiest billionaires.
Billionaires are now worth £6.6tn ($8.7tn) compared with £6.9tn ($9.1tn) last year, the report said, adding that there were 2,153 billionaires, down 55 since last year, with 994 or 44 percent worse off than in 2018. 11 percent of billionaires (247 people) on the 2018 Forbes’ Billionaire list have been knocked off, “the most since 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis”, Forbes said.
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Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos remains the King of Capitalism, with his personal net worth at £99bn ($131bn), up £14.5bn ($19bn) from the year before. Bill Gates is number two at £73.5 ($96.5bn), up from £68.6 ($90bn) from 2018.