Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 36, briefly became the youngest centibillionaire in the world on Friday. His net worth crossed the $100 billion threshold two days after Instagram launched Reels, a feature almost identical to TikTok’s scrolling video platform, sending Facebook’s stock soaring 12% on Thursday and Friday.
Facebook shares came back to earth a bit Friday afternoon, but still ended the week 8% higher than the prior Friday, far outpacing the S&P 500 (2.5%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (3.8%). Zuckerberg, who owns about 15% of the company, added $5.3 billion to his net worth between July 31 and August 7—making him the week’s biggest gainer Forbes estimates his net worth to be $98.6 billion.
Reels could not have come at a better time for Facebook. TikTok, the Gen Z-beloved app that is owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, has become a target of President Donald Trump’s ire. Trump said on July 31 he would ban the app, deeming it a threat to national security (though some speculate his efforts are, above all else, retribution for the TikTok-enabled prank pulled on his Tulsa, Oklahoma rally in June). Late Thursday night, he made good on that threat, issuing an executive order that will prohibit Americans from doing business with ByteDance starting September 20. ByteDance has reportedly threatened to sue the U.S. government in response.
Zuckerberg may not be the only billionaire to profit from the TikTok drama. Microsoft, in which cofounder and former CEO Bill Gates still owns an estimated 1.4% stake, is in negotiations to buy the embattled app from ByteDance. On Sunday, the company said in a statement that it would seek to acquire TikTok service in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, in addition to the U.S., but the Financial Times reported Thursday that Microsoft is planning to take over the entire global business of TikTok. Gates, 64, has not yet seen a windfall in the market from the potential deal — Microsoft only rose 3.6% this week, leaving Gates worth $113.6 billion.
The world’s two remaining centibillionaires saw gains this week as well. Jeff Bezos (net worth: $189.8 billion), whose fortune rose $2.6 billion in the past week, sold off $3.1 billion worth of Amazon stock on Monday and Tuesday. It remains unclear why he sold the stock, but he has promised to sell shares annually to fund his space exploration company, Blue Origin, and Recode has reported that Bezos recently established a new corporation, Fellowship Ventures LLC, to be the vehicle for his $10 billion pledge to fight climate change. Meanwhile, LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault (net worth: $107.1 billion) regained some ground after a rough earnings report for the luxury conglomerate last week led to a $6 billion drop in his fortune. This week, his net worth rose by $2.2 billion as the stock partly recovered.