On Thursday, for the first time ever, Mark Zuckerberg's net worth passed $100 billion as per Bloomberg Billionaire Index after Facebook Inc. hit a record on optimism about the release of its TikTok competitor Reels.
The 36-year-old joins fellow tech billionaires Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as the only people in the world who currently have centi-billionaire status. Zuckerberg's net worth is largely derived from his 13 percent stake in Facebook.
The coronavirus pandemic has been favourable for founders of America's largest technology companies as stay-at-home has driven more people online and raised stock market investments despite the US economy contracting at its fastest pace on record. Zuckerberg fortune has gained about $22 billion this year while Amazon founder Bezos' is up more than $75 billion.
The staggering surge in their fortune has put big tech companies in the spotlight and called for their scrutiny by the country's government. Zuckerberg, Bezos, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Alphabet Inc. head Sundar Pichai has to testify before the US Congress last month to defend allegations that their power and influence are out of control.
Apple, Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft Corp., the five global tech companies based out of US currently have market valuations equivalent to about 30 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), nearly double what they were at the end of 2018.
Zuckerberg has said that he plans to give away 99 percent of his Facebook shares over his lifetime.