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Reuters/Adnan Abidi
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MISERY LOVES ITS COMPANY

The richest tech CEOs lost $12 billion on Facebook’s fall from grace

By Preeti Varathan

It’s been a tough 24 hours for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Since news broke that Cambridge Analytica, which consulted for Donald Trump’s election campaign, had mined the data of millions of Facebook users without their permission, Facebook has taken a massive hit. The scandal erased $40 billion in market value for the social-media company. British lawmakers are now summoning Zuckerberg to provide evidence on his company’s relationship with the political-marketing consultancy.

And according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s richest, the data-harvesting scandal cost Zuckerberg $5 billion to his personal net worth.

The bedlam also pulled other tech companies’ share prices down yesterday and left their CEOs, like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the Google founding duo, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, a little bit poorer, according to Bloomberg’s calculations. (As of this writing, the shares of Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Tencent are positive today.)

What’s less clear is how this scandal will play out for Facebook—and the rest of the tech sector—in the long run. Facebook has been mired in controversy before. But zoom out and Facebook, which entered the market at an initial price of $38 per a share, has now quadrupled in value. Facebook may be down at the moment (a further 5% today, as of 12:09 pm EST), but it’s up 20% over the past 12 months.

This is true of the personal fortunes of the tech elite, too. Jeff Bezos’s net worth has risen $30 billion since the start of 2018. Others, like Jack Ma and Pony Ma, are up at least $3 billion.

Only Zuckerberg’s riches are meaningfully down for the year.