Facebook owner eclipses Apple CEO on Forbes rich list
Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, has shot up the Forbes rankings of the richest people in the United States, eclipsing the Apple owner Steve Jobs.
The 26-year-old chief executive officer of the social networking site is tied in 35th place on the list after seeing his wealth grow 245pc to $6.9bn (€5.2bn) last year.
His wealth has been significantly boosted by a $200m (€150m) investment in Facebook by the Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies, whose social networks are market leaders in Europe.
The young entrepreneur has now passed Mr Jobs whose $6.1bn fortune places him 42nd on the list.
Despite the fact that Apple recently exceeded Microsoft in valuation, the lion's share of the CEO's personal wealth comes from his shares in Disney, which bought his Pixar animation studio in 2006 for $7.4bn.
Mr Zuckerberg's fellow co-founder Dustin Moskovitz is the youngest to make the top 400. The 26-year-old, who is eight days Mr Zuckerberg's junior and left Facebook in 2008, was one of 16 new entrants to the list when his $1.4 billion fortune tied him for the 290th place.
Eduardo Saverin, another co-founder of the social networking site who retains a 5pc stake, is 356th on the list with a fortune of $1.15bn.
Luisa Kroll, global wealth editor for Forbes, said: “Very few are at an all-time high, with the exception of how phenomenally well Facebook is doing."
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp, remains at the top of the list of the 400 richest Americans with estimated assets of $54bn. Mr Gates was knocked off his perch as the world's richest man by the Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim in March.
Warren Buffett, the investor, remains the second richest man in the US with $45bn, according to the list which was published yesterday.
The family which controls the Walmart stores retains a firm foothold in the list. Christy Walton, 55, and Alice Walton, 60, rank fourth and eigth on the list, while Jim Walton ranks seventh and S. Robson Walton is ninth. The family have maintained prominent positions on the list every year since 2001.
The number of list members whose wealth declined this year is 85 compared with 314 in 2009, while wealth increased for 217 members.
The collective net worth of the 400 billionaires rose by 8pc from 2009, totalling $1.37 trillion - approximately the same as the GDP of Spain or Canada.
“They’ve recovered, but we’re still so far off from 2008,” Ms Kroll said.
California is home to 83 of the richest Americans - more than any other state. New York has 64 while Texas has 45 and Florida has 26.
There are just 42 women on the list. It took a net worth of at least $1bn to earn a spot in the rankings - up from $950m in 2009.