It is true that rich get richer a lot faster than most. However, that also means they can also lose their shirts a lot faster. The Wall Street Journal has a list of uber-rich CEOs who have lost in recent weeks billions of dollars in stock in their own companies.
Warren Buffett tops that list with losses nearing $10 billion this year alone. According to an analysis by Steven Hall & Partners, a compensation-consulting firm, the value of Mr. Buffett’s equity in Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) declined more than that of any other big-company chief executive.
Other major declines in CEO net worth include CEO of Oracle (ORCL), Larry Ellison, who, so far has lost $6.6 bln; Steve Ballmer of Microsoft (MSFT) is also down substantially, showing a $4.8 bln loss. Jeff Bezos of Amazon (AMZN) is negative by $4.2 bln and News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch (NWS), has seen the value of his stock shrink by nearly $4 billion. Most of these CEOs, have their greenbacks tied up in the companies they founded. The exceptions are Mr. Buffett who bought a controlling stake in Berkshire in the 1960s, and Mr. Ballmer who has been at Microsoft since 1980.
The WSJ notes that the net worth of chief executives has seen continuing wealth erosion at 175 of the largest companies in the U.S. The value of equity in their own companies has declined by a cumulative $42.3 billion from the end of their most recent fiscal year through last week. All results include stock, exercisable and non-exercisable stock options, and un-vested shares.