Considering the amount of data scandal plaguing Facebook, it is almost impossible for one to think that its stock would go up. Interestingly, it went the other way around. According to CNBC, the social media giant’s stock has reached an all-time high. Consequently, this pushed Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth beyond that of famed investor Warren Buffet.
Facebook shares managed to close up 2.4 percent on Friday to trade at $203.33. This notched a record close for the social-networking business. Its stock has apparently been on a steady climb, hitting various records in both months of June and July. What is even more interesting is that this success came despite pressure from lawmakers in the wake of the infamous Cambridge Analytical data privacy scandal.
Amid the company’s stock gains, Zuckerberg has sold about $3.58 billion worth of shares this year. And despite those massive sales, as of Friday’s press time, and due to its stock’s record high, the CEO has now deemed the third richest person in the world. This title means that Zuckerberg just surpassed the great Warren Buffet.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires index, the tech executive is now worth $79.7 billion. This ranked him also as the fifth wealthiest person in the world on Forbes’ list, just behind LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault. For Forbes, Zuckerberg’s worth is around $77.1 billion.
Zuckerberg also trails Amazon.com founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, who is the co-founder of Microsoft Corp.
The $3.58 billion in stock sales are reportedly meant to fund the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. The latter is a philanthropic investment arm Zuckerberg founded with his wife Priscilla Chan sometime in 2015.
Sometime in September 2017’s Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the Facebook CEO revealed that he plans to sell at least $6 billion in stock over the next 18 months in order to fund the aforementioned foundation. He pledges to give away 99 percent of his company’s stock away in his lifetime.
Friday’s gains show a complete recovery from March after the tech company shares hit a 52-week intraday low of $149.02 per share. This was basically after reports suggesting that Zuckerberg’s company mishandled data from over 87 million users.
Of course, Facebook’s data woes are far from over. They are still under scrutiny following the above-mentioned data scandal. However, hitting the all-time record means that investors, in one way or another, are no longer concerned about the ongoing issue.
On Monday, the social-networking giant confirmed that the FBI, FTC, and SEC have combined their efforts with the Justice Department in asking questions about the company’s user data. The questions are aimed at how user data was being mishandled and improperly shared with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
Zuckerberg’s ascent has been due to investor’s continued embrace of his company. The issue took the company to a whirlpool of privacy crisis, which brought it down to an eight-month low of $152.22 on March 27.
Technology fortunes make up around a fifth of the more than $5 trillion in wealth as per the Bloomberg index. The ranking, which basically tracks the world’s top 500 richest people, is updated every after the close of trading day in New York.
Buffet, who is once the world’s richest person, is sliding in the rankings thanks to this charitable works. His charity efforts started in 2006 and have since been considered a huge philanthropic action on the industry. In fact, he has already donated about 290 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to charities, most of it to Gate’s own foundation. These shares are now worth more than $50 billion.