Mark Zuckerberg “Richer” Than Steve Jobs

Image: Jason McELweenie/Flickr

According to Forbes’ latest list of the 400 richest people in America, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is now richer than Steve Jobs, Rupert Murdoch or Charles Schwab. The list, which ironically came out around the time Facebook went down today, estimated Zuckerberg’s worth at $6.9 billion. Jobs is worth a meager $6.1. From The Guardian:

the rise of 26-year-old Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg appears to be unstoppable. Yesterday it was revealed that his wealth has tripled in a year, making him richer than the mighty Rupert Murdoch and even Apple’s Steve Jobs.

A ranking of America’s wealthiest individuals by Forbes magazine estimates Zuckerberg’s current fortune at $6.9bn, up by $4.9bn in a year. He’s still only 35th in the rankings, but he’s rising up the list faster than anyone else. And in a sign that the young social networking tycoon is attempting to take control of his rocketing public profile – and perhaps even the responsibility that comes with it – Zuckerberg will appear on Oprah today to announce a $100m personal gift to urban schools in the city of Newark.

One fundamental question remains. Is Zuckerberg’s wealth real? MarketWatch speaks:

…Forbes is saying that Mark Zuckerberg is worth more than the guy who brought the world enormously successful products such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad. This for a guy whose company may not yet even be generating actual profits.

Forbes has been doing these lists for a long time and has a serious methodology to evaluate every aspect of wealth, including executives at privately held companies. The magazine says it even looks at debt and notes in its methodology explanation that “Some on our list will become richer or poorer within weeks — even days — of publication.”

It also says that privately held companies are evaluated by comparisons with similar public companies. In Facebook’s case, there isn’t really a direct public comparison, so perhaps Forbes is basing its valuation on the secondary market, where some employees and investors have sold their Facebook stakes, and stakes of investors like Microsoft Corp.

Yes, Zuckerberg appears to have become wealthy, at least on paper….But until Facebook becomes a publicly traded company, guessing at Zuckerberg’s wealth seems like a meaningless exercise.

Amen to that. But it sure makes for a good headline, doesn’t it?

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  • Alan McRae

    This is yet another example of how fake the US economy is becoming. Facebook is an infantile waste of time for millions of people who need to get a real life. Farmville? Grow a real garden couch potato! Some jerk you’ve never met wants to be your digital friend? Is that all you think a friend is! This is as pathetic as all those BS dotcom businesses that sounded good on paper and attracted millions of venture capital dollars during the 90’s. So, where are they now? Millions of dollars of failed investment with nothing but a couple of CD’s worth of website code to show for it. The financial services sector valued subprime mortgage backed CDO’s as investment grade, so believe these Bozos at your own risk. What has real value is brand new manufacturing plants in China making products for global export. My country is mesmerized by its own digital fantasies and tweeting while Rome burns.

  • Maybe the value placed on Zuckerberg’s meteoric rise signals the onset of a new tech bubble? God knows we techie types could use some more of that…

  • Janus

    Alan McRae, great comment. Congrats! From what I can gather from various sources on the Internet, the U.S. economy is going down. How on earth can a young American who has probably never worked like others be worth 6,900,000,000? It does not make sense. The world has gone crazy.

  • Equinox

    I bet he doesn’t have even £1bn. He certainly won’t have it in the bank!