The Facebook co-founder and CEO now has a net worth of US$81.6 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

On 21 June 2018 Zuckerberg’s surging fortunes had him poised to overtake the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman Buffett and move into third position on the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Both men had a total net worth of US$81.6 billion each.

The resurgence of Facebook left Zuckerberg US$725 million behind Buffett, who is more than 50 years his senior. Jeff Bezos comfortably retains his position atop the list with US$145 billion and Bill Gates is in second place with US$92.8 billion.

The stunning result comes just months after Facebook shares plummeted in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Zuckerberg was grilled at congressional hearings.

On 27 March 2018, the share value of Facebook closed at a low of US$152.22. At time of writing on 21 June 2018, it was at a record high of US$202.00

Facebook’s share price was up on the back of it announcing Instagram (the photo-based social networking system it owns) was launching a new feature, Instagram TV.

Some observers baulked at Facebook’s purchase of Instagram for almost US$1 billion in 2012, but it has proved a canny acquisition and consolidated the company’s already monolithic share of the social network market. It has embraced video content in recent months and Instagram’s move into this space is seen as a promising one by the market.

Stock in Facebook has risen a stupendous 428% since the company’s initial public offering back in May 2012.

Zuckerberg to overtake Buffett?

Warren Buffett may soon move down a slot on the list but the demotion is not due to any idleness on his part. Instead his personal wealth has slid after a series of gigantic charitable donations. Buffett has previously said he intends to give away most of his money.

The main recipients of his philanthropy have been the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation. The latter foundation commemorates his late wife and has offered college scholarships to students in Buffett’s home state Nebraska for more than 60 years.

Zuckerberg has also said he plans to eventually give away 99% of his wealth to the charitable Chan-Zuckerberg initiative.

Buffett once said that Zuckerberg “will be a hero to many young entrepreneurs 20 years from now,” and suggested the next generation of business leaders would aspire to the feats of Zuckerberg and Bill Gates in much the same way a youthful Buffett lapped up information about John D. Rockerfeller and Andrew Carnegie.