Billion dollar blows: Google’s AI miss headlines week of pain for world’s richest


A misstep with Alphabet’s new AI chatbot sent shares tumbling, the world’s richest person lost billions.

Google had a week to forget. Image: Getty

Big Tech’s business titans were among the week’s biggest losers as Alphabet fell far short in combating the success of Open AI’s ChatGPT AI bot. On Wednesday, Alphabet lost US$100 billion of its market capitalisation after its disastrous debut of its new chatbot Bard, knocking down the net worths of Google cofounders and Alphabet board members Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Meanwhile, the fortune of Indian business mogul Gautam Adani has further declined as the accusations regarding the Adani Group’s use of stock manipulation and offshore tax havens reverberate despite the group’s denial of the allegations levied last month by a U.S. short seller. Adani, who has lost $68 billion since the report was published, dropped out of the ranks of top 20 richest billionaires this past week. And the world’s richest person, luxury magnate Bernard Arnault, saw his net worth decline nearly 5% from last week. The drop follows a reorganisation of top executives—including his daughter, Delphine Arnault.

The losses experienced by some of the world’s most iconic billionaires came in a week when the S&P 500 had its worst performance so far this year, dropping 1.1%, dragged down in part by Alphabet stock’s fall. We tracked the change in fortunes from the market close on Friday, February 3 through the end of the day Friday, February 10.

Here’s how some of the world’s richest people fared this week.

All figures in this article are in $USD.

Bernard Arnault

Net Worth: $211.2 bil Down $10.3 bil
Country: France | Source Of Wealth: LVMH
Chief Executive of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) Bernard Arnault. Image: Getty

The French chairman of luxury conglomerate LVMH remains the world’s richest person, despite a $10.3 billion decline from last week, as the share price of LVMH fell 4%. The drop comes on the heels of LVMH announcing record 2022 results and a shakeup in the executive ranks that included Arnault appointing his daughter Delphine to head the Dior brand in January. One report this week opined that Arnault is continuing his efforts to steer LVMH and his family away from a succession battle that could threaten the firm’s success. His goal is to keep the company under the family’s domain into the future.

Larry Page & Sergey Brin

Larry Page Net Worth: $82.2 bil Down $8 bil
Sergey Brin Net Worth: $78.8 bil Down $7.6 bil
Country: United States | Source Of Wealth: Google


The fortunes of Google’s cofounders fell billions of dollars in the past week following a disappointing launch of Bard, Google’s new AI chatbot–which provided an incorrect answer in an investor showcase early this week. Google-parent Alphabet’s shares dropped nearly 10% since Friday February 3, pushing down the fortunes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin by 8.8% apiece from last week. Page and Brin still maintain their status among the world’s 20 richest people, with Page ranked No. 10 on Forbes’ list of Real-Time Billionaires and Brin ranked No. 12.

Gautam Adani

Net Worth: $58 bil Down $3.9 bil
Country: India | Source Of Wealth: Adani Group

It was yet another down week for the Indian industrialist whose fortune has tumbled, following accusations in late January by U.S.-based short selling firm Hindenburg Research that his business conglomerate, Adani Group, engaged in stock price manipulation and accounting fraud. (The Adani Group has denied all allegations.) This week, index provider MSCI said, according to a CNBC report, that it will cut the weightings of four Adani Group companies in its indexes after taking another look at the number of shares that are freely traded. Adani’s net worth dropped 6%, or $3.9 billion, since last week. Adani, who was the world’s third richest person on Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires ranking prior to January 25, fell out of the world’s top 20 richest on Friday, February 10. He now ranks No. 22, worth $58 billion, down $68 billion since the Hindenburg report.

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