Jeff Bezos’ fortune drops US$66 billion so far this year


Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder & Executive Chair and Laura Sánchez attend the Los Angeles premiere of Amazon Prime Video’s “The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power” at The Culver Studios on August 15, 2022 in Culver City, California. | Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ fortune fell by US$7.2 billion Friday after the e-commerce giant forecast that its holiday sales would fall below analysts’ expectations.

Amazon shares tumbled 6.8% as of market close Friday following the company’s third quarter earnings results released late Thursday. After the drop, Bezos lost his spot as the third richest person in the world to Indian infrastructure and energy magnate Gautam Adani. Bezos is now No. 4 on Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires tracker, worth an estimated US$127.2 billion. The vast majority of Bezos’ wealth comes from his roughly 10% stake in Amazon. Since the beginning of 2022, his fortune has fallen by US$66 billion, Forbes calculates.

Bezos isn’t the only one whose fortune is down after Amazon’s stock decline. His ex-wife, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, also lost US$2.1 billion on Friday. Scott received a quarter of Bezos’ Amazon stake after their divorce in 2019. While she’s given away US$12.8 billion to more than 1,200 nonprofits, she still holds an estimated 14.7 million Amazon shares.

While the holidays are usually a boon for the online retail juggernaut, Amazon only expects to bring in between US$140 billion and US$148 billion in revenue for the last three months of the year. Analysts had expected nearly US$155 billion.

“There is obviously a lot happening in the macroeconomic environment, and we’ll balance our investments to be more streamlined without compromising our key long-term, strategic bets,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement accompanying the company’s earnings.

Bezos, who founded Amazon in 1994, stepped down as CEO of the company in July 2021 but continues to serve as Amazon’s executive chairman. Amazon stock hit its peak price of a split-adjusted US$186.57 a share on July 8, 2021. The stock has fallen nearly 45% since then.

Other tycoons whose fortunes have tumbled mightily: Elon Musk, who was worth $320 billion in early November 2021, is now worth about US$100 billion less, as Forbes reported a week ago. And Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Meta (formerly known as Facebook), has a net worth that crashed US$11 billion on Thursday and has crumbled nearly 76% —a drop of $100 billion—from its peak in September 2021.

The S&P 500, meanwhile, closed up nearly 2.5% on Friday, while the Nasdaq index rose almost 2.9% on Friday—underlining that the really big tech stocks are moving in opposition to much of the rest of the market.

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