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Move over Warren Buffett: Facebook’s Zuckerberg now world’s third richest person

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has overtaken Warren Buffett as the world’s third-richest person, further solidifying technology as the most robust creator of wealth, Bloomberg reported.

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg, who trails only Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, surpassed Buffett on Friday as Facebook shares climbed 2.4 percent, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

It’s the first time that the three wealthiest people on the ranking made their fortunes from technology. Zuckerberg, 34, is now worth $81.6 billion, about $373 million more than Buffett, the 87-year-old chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Zuckerberg’s ascent has been driven by investors’ continued embrace of Facebook, the social-network giant that shook off the fallout from a data-privacy crisis that hammered its shares, sending them to an eight-month low of $152.22 on March 27. The stock closed Friday at a record $203.23.

Technology fortunes make up about a fifth of the more than $5 trillion in wealth tracked by the Bloomberg index, more than any other sector. The ranking, which tracks the world’s 500 richest people, is updated after the close of each trading day in New York.

Buffett, once the world’s wealthiest person, is sliding in the ranking thanks to his charitable giving.

He has donated about 290 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to charities, most of which have been donated to the Gates’s foundation. Those shares are now worth more than $50 billion, according to data from Bloomberg.

Buffett is betting on tech, too. Berkshire Hathaway bought about 75 million shares of Apple stock during the first three months of the year, adding to the 165 million shares it already had.

Zuckerberg has pledged to give away 99 percent of his Facebook stock in his lifetime to charity.

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