In the worst year for billionaire dropouts since 2009, 329 fell from the ranks.
ar in Ukraine, a Chinese tech crackdown and plummeting stock prices prompted 329 people to leave Forbes‘ 2022 list of the world’s billionaires, featuring 169 unique wonders that were part of last year’s record 493 newcomers. This is the highest number of dropouts since 2009, when the financial crisis knocked 355 people off the list. Additionally, 30 billionaires died last year; they are counted separately from those who have fallen due to declining net worth.
Three countries – China (153 dropouts, including four from Hong Kong), Russia (35) and the United States (33) – accounted for two-thirds of dropouts. Former tech billionaires, whose fortunes have soared more than any other group during the pandemic, have been the hardest hit – 53 have been dropped, including 32 from China and Hong Kong. But the pain was widespread, with the fashion and retail (45), manufacturing (33) and real estate (29) industries also taking major hits to their billionaire ranks. Two of the biggest early winners from Covid-19, the healthcare and finance sectors, also lost 25 billionaires each.
Of the 10 former billionaires whose net worth fell the most, eight were from China. The fortunes of this year’s two biggest losers, TAL Education’s Zhang Bangxin (previously worth $13.3 billion) and rival GSX Techedu’s Larry Xiangdong Chen ($10.2 billion), evaporated when the Chinese government has threatened to ban foreign profits and investment in the after-school tutoring sector.
Of the 30 billionaires who died last year, the most recent was Edward “Ned” Johnson III. He took over Fidelity from his father in 1977 and ran it for 37 years, transforming the Boston-based company into one of America’s largest money managers, before handing the reins to his daughter Abigail in 2014. He is died at the age of 91, a few days before Forbes’ finalized our 2022 billionaires list in March. Eli Broad, the homebuilding and insurance mogul turned philanthropist, has died aged 87, leaving $6.9 billion to widow Edythe, who is charged with fulfilling the couple’s pledge to give the major part. Czech investor (and formerly the richest person in Czechia) Petr Kellner was killed in a helicopter crash in March 2021 at the age of 56. The richest person to die last year, he left $16.6 billion to his wife, Renata Kellnerova.
Forbes measured net worth for the 2022 list using stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of trading on Friday, March 11, 2022. See below for a list of some of the most prominent people who lost their status to ten digits.
Net worth: less than $900 million (compared to $1.7 billion on the 2021 list)
Source of wealth: sports betting
Meckenzie secured an 11% stake in daily sports and fantasy betting company DraftKings when it partnered with its gaming technology provider SBTech in a three-way SPAC merger in April 2020. He has since sold shares, but not fast enough – the value of its remaining 5% stake has fallen 73% over the past year as the company’s aggressive spending led to a bigger loss than analysts expected, and investors have refocused on profitability with looming interest rate hikes.
Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt
Net worth: less than $800 million each (from $1 billion each)
Source of Wealth: Stock Trading App
Country: United States
The fortunes of Stanford classmates Tenev and Bhatt soared as Robinhood Markets, the no-fee stock trading app they co-founded in 2013, became the vehicle for the stock mania of home-based retail traders in 2020 and 2021 at the worst of the pandemic. Trading on the platform has since declined sharply, and shares of the company have fallen 71% from their IPO price last July. The frenzy had to end, but the company didn’t help it – conspiracy theories spread like wildfire when Robinhood halted trade on its application of soaring shares of the struggling video game retailer GameStop in January 2021, limiting the losses of hedge funds that were short. stocks to the detriment of amateur investors. Tenev said the decision was made to comply with SEC requirements and “to protect the company and [its] customers,” while denying that Robinhood had any liquidity issues.
Net worth: less than $700 million (from $3.4 billion previously)
Source of Wealth: Electric Vehicles
Country: United States
A year ago, its electric vehicle maker Rivian was up to snuff, raising a record $23.1 billion to $11.2 billion as a private company and $11.9 billion when it went public in November, which valued the company at $90 billion. But the founder and CEO has struggled to ramp up production since, disappointing analysts and sending shares up 64%.
Net worth: less than $700 million (from $4.7 billion previously)
Source of wealth: Banking
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and the subsequent onslaught of Western sanctions – wiped out many fortunes: Tinkov is one of 35 Russians to fall from the ranks. Shares of its digital bank, Tinkoff, lost 90% of their value in London before trading was suspended on March 2.
Herd of Whitney Wolfe
Net worth: less than $700 million (from $1.3 billion previously)
Source of wealth: dating app
Country: United States
She became the youngest self-made female billionaire when her dating app, Bumble, went public in early 2021. But shares of Bumble (down 72% after the IPO) have been on the rocks. Wolfe Herd has been adding paying users at a slower rate than competitors like Tinder, which she co-founded and left behind over sexual harassment allegations. (Tinder has denied any wrongdoing and the matter has been settled.)
Net worth: less than $600 million (from $1.4 billion previously)
Source of wealth: Food delivery service
Groen founded the food delivery service now known as Just Eat Takeaway.com as a student in 2000 and took it public on Euronext Amsterdam in 2016, spending big in the years since to acquire rivals Delivery Hero (for $1 billion in 2018), Just Eat (for $7.7 billion in 2020) and GrubHub (for $7.3 billion last June). The company’s stock peaked in October 2020 at the height of the pandemic, but has since lost 72% of its value as former customers return to restaurants and grocery stores. The company pulled from the Nasdaq earlier this year (it still trades in Amsterdam and London) and came under pressure from investors to cut its losses, potentially by selling GrubHub.
Net worth: less than $500 million (was $5 billion)
Source of Wealth: E-Cigarettes
Wang co-founded RLX Technology, the biggest player in China’s vaping market, and listed it on the New York Stock Exchange in January 2021 in a $35 billion listing. Then the Chinese government threatened to nationalize e-cigarette sales, provoking lawsuits from investors and sending Wang’s fortune up in smoke.
Net worth: less than $400 million (from $1.5 billion previously)
Source of Wealth: Platoon
Country: United States
Talk about a bad PR cycle: Two prominent TV characters (Mr. Big of Sex and the City and Mike “Wags” Wagner of Billions) suffered fictional heart attacks while riding Foley’s Peloton fitness bikes l ‘last year. The business isn’t faring much better as customers return to gyms, leading Peloton to cut production and lay off workers. Co-founder Foley stepped down as CEO in February; he remains president.
Will Wei Cheng
Net worth: less than $300 million (from $1.2 billion previously)
Source of wealth: public transport service
His Didi Global waged a price war that drove Uber out of China, only to come to an abrupt halt when the Chinese government banned the Didi app days after the company’s NYSE debut last June, citing “problems of cybersecurity”. (Didi said he would “cooperate fully” with the review.) The stock has since fallen 89%.
MORE ON FORBES BILLIONAIRES 2022
From left to right: John Foley, Will Wei Cheng, Whitney Wolfe Herd, RJ Scaringe