Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott Earn $12 Billion Before Amazon Prime Day

Technology stocks rebounded this week after plunging last Friday (2) in response to news that US President Donald Trumps and several of his employees have been diagnosed with Covid-19. Even with a recently released investigation by the US House of Representatives, which was highly critical of the four largest technology companies in the country, the companies closed in the positive.


Amazon shares were up 5% over the week, compared with an increase of 3.2% and 3.8% for the Dow Jones Industrial Index and the S&P 500, respectively. Yesterday alone, they appreciated 3%, after the company revealed a series of other products that will be heavily discounted during the annual shopping event, Amazon Prime, scheduled for 13 and 14 October.  The rise in Amazon shares added $8.8 billion to CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, during the week. His ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, became $3 billion richer this week thanks to her 4% stake in the company.


Former Microsoft CEOs Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer also got richer, with the company’s shares rising 4.7% over the week. Capitalizing on the gaming boom during the pandemic, Microsoft announced a partnership with GameStop on Thursday (8) that allows the video game retailer to use Microsoft’s cloud and work applications, and will expand the Xbox product line of the Microsoft available in the store.


Yesterday, The Verge reported that Microsoft has also joined a list of companies, including Facebook and Twitter, that will allow their employees to work from home permanently. Gates ended the week $2.1 billion richer, while Ballmer’s fortune rose by $2.6 billion.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk earned $3.5 billion for the week, thanks in part to a new stock price target from a Wall Street analyst. On Thursday, New Street’s Pierre Ferragu updated estimates for Tesla at $578, citing a lack of significant competition. Shares in the electric car company closed Friday at $434 a share.


Self-driving car company Waymo, which is owned by Google Alphabet, launched its driverless taxi service on Thursday in the Phoenix area. Musk criticized Waymo’s system as being limited by its reliance on maps. However, the market was satisfied, and shares of Alphabet rose 3.9% for the week, adding $2.3 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively, to the fortunes of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.


Chinese billionaires also made gains this week, with the yuan reaching its highest value against the US dollar in 17 months. Part of that increase is attributed to former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden’s lead in the polls against Donald Trump.


Tencent Chairman Ma Huateng and Pinduoduo Founder and CEO Colin Zheng Huang saw the biggest jumps during the week, adding $2.9 billion each to their fortunes.


The billionaire owner of the country’s biggest water bottler, Zhong Shanshan, also ranked as one of the biggest gainers, ending the week $2.6 billion richer.