Zuckerberg, 34, rounded out the tech giants now at the top of the money heap, following Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in the No. 2 spot, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which tracks the world’s 500 wealthiest people.
Zuckerberg moved up the ladder after Facebook shares climbed 2.4 percent Friday. Company stock prices are up this year about 15 percent, even though they hit an eight-month low in late March after a wall of complaints over controversial data sharing by the social media giant. Facebook allowed political strategy firm Cambridge Analytica — which helped Donald Trump’s campaign — to harvest the private data of 87 million users.
Facebook also came in for major heat in 2016 for the role it played providing a powerful platform for Russian posts and advertising aiming to influence the U.S. election and undermine American democracy.
It’s the first time in the history of the index that tech moguls have grabbed the top three slots. Technology assets make up about 20 percent of the more than $ 5 trillion in wealth tracked by the index, which is more than any other business. Six of the ten richest people (all men) earned their wealth in technology.
Investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Buffett, who used to be the richest person alive (and is now No. 4), has been slipping because of his massive charitable contributions. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have pledged to give away 99 percent of their Facebook stock over their lifetimes.