According to the news report by Bloomberg, the co-founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has now overtaken Warren Buffet, the 87-year-old philanthropist as well as CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, to become the third wealthiest person in the world.
Zuckerberg, who is third after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s Bill Gates, overtook Berkshire Hathaway’s Buffet on Friday after his company’s shares jumped up by 2.4%. He is now worth $81.6 billion, which is $373 million more than what Warren Buffet is worth.
Facebook shares went up as much as $203.64 during intraday trading. Social media company’s shares then slipped just slightly but still closed at record highs on Friday, up 2.4% to a price of $203.23 at the end of the trading day. So far for the year, the social media giant’s stocks have gained 15.2% and the company’s market value at this time is $590 billion.
This is the first time that the three richest people in the world are all from the technology sector. In fact, Jeff Bezos, the co-founder and CEO of Amazon.com became the richest person in the world – ever, beating co-founder Bill Gates to the number one position.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which is updated at the end of every trading day, tracks more than $5 trillion in wealth – from about 500 of the world’s richest people. Of that amount, the technology sectors’ richest make up about 20%, making it the dominant sector on the Billionaires’ list.
Buffet, whom Zuckerberg just overtook, has been consciously giving his wealth away, an effort he earnestly got into from 2006 onwards. At one point in time, Warren Buffet was the world’s richest person, however, he has given away a significant portion of his money to charity for more than a decade now.
He has donated more than 290 million Class B Berkshire Hathaway shares to charity – which is currently valued at $50 billion. A large amount of that money has gone into the Bill and Melinda Foundation.
In fact, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, long-time friends as well as billionaires, launched the Giving Pledge in an attempt to get fellow billionaires to give away as least half of their wealth – either in their lifetimes or as a part of their last will and testaments. Buffet has already pledged that 99% of his wealth should be given away to charitable causes.
The good news is that the person who has replaced Warren Buffet as the world’s third richest person – Mark Zuckerberg – is also a part of the Giving Pledge and has promised that 99% of his Facebook stock (the source of his wealth) will be given away during his lifetime.
Zuckerberg’s wealth has been driven mainly by investors’ continued belief in the growth and expansion of the social media company. Even when it was the center of huge controversy earlier this year, where a data privacy scandal caused the company’s shares to plunge, the company was able to not just weather the storm, but come out of it much stronger.
With Friday’s gains, the company has finally shown a complete recovery from its March debacle, however, its data problems are not over. Earlier in the week, Facebook confirmed that the SEC, FTC as well as FBI had also joined the US Department of Justice by asking the company to clarify how users’ data was shared with a political consultancy such as Cambridge Analytica.
The company’s shares did show a downward turn when this news was revealed, however, by Friday, the company showed not just a recovery, but it reached new record highs.