Who Got Rich This Week: The Airbnb Founders, Two Luxury Goods Tycoons And Elon Musk

Who Got Rich This Week: The Airbnb Founders, Two Luxury Goods Tycoons And Elon Musk

The number one and two richest people in the world were big dollar gainers this week but percentage wise others did even better.

Stronger-than-expected earnings reports and a demand for luxury goods bumped up the fortunes of several lucky billionaires this week. Higher-than-expected quarterly revenue figures reported by Airbnb led to its biggest one-day stock pop since its IPO in December 2020, boosting the fortune of cofounder and CEO Brian Chesky by more than 20%. Meanwhile, major announcements and strong earnings reports by luxury fashion houses boosted the fortunes of both the richest man in the world, Bernard Arnault, and his frequent rival, luxury group Kering founder, François Pinault. Speaking of rivals, Tesla’s Elon Musk moved closer to retaking the title of world’s richest person from Arnault, closing the gap to less than $17 billion, after a strong week.

One person who didn’t fare so well was Gautam Adani of India. Ranked No. 3 richest in the world earlier this year, his fortune fell by another $6.9 billion this week. That’s on top of more than $60 billion since late January. Adani now ranks No. 24 on Forbes’ list of Real-Time Billionaireswith a fortune of $51.1 billion.

Here are six of the week’s biggest gainers, whose fortunes increased a combined $20 billion in the past week.

The net worth change is from close of markets Friday, February 10 through Friday, February 17.

Bryan Chesky

Net Worth: $10.3 billion Up: $1.8 bil, +21%

Nathan Blecharczyk

Net Worth: $8.9 billion Up: $1.5 bil, +20%

The Airbnb cofounders saw a significant uptick in their fortunes this past week after the short-term rental company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Shares of the company were up nearly 21% as of Friday, lifting Chesky’s net worth by $1.8 billion and Blecharczyk’s by $1.5 billion. The company has benefited from a post-pandemic travel rebound, reporting record global listings of 6.6 million for 2022. “We’re one of the few tech companies that isn’t doing layoffs, we’re not cutting, we’re not freezing, we’re actually stepping on the gas,” Chesky said in the company’s earnings call on Tuesday.

Jeff T. Green

Net Worth: $3.5 billion Up: $600 mil, +20%

Shares of digital ad platform company The Trade Desk surged by almost 24% this week after the company announced on Wednesday slightly better than expected fourth quarter and full year 2022 results as well as a $700 million share buyback program. Thanks to that jump, its billionaire cofounder and CEO Green is $600 million richer as of Friday afternoon.

Net Worth: $198.2 billion Up: $9.6 bil, +5%

One of America’s most eligible billionairesElon Musk gained nearly $10 billion this week. Even with a Tesla recall of 360,000 cars announced on Thursdaythe company’s stock still ended up 7% this week. Tesla’s stock has been rising weekly since the start of 2023, steadily boosting Musk’s wealth and pushing the No. 2 richest man in the world closer to No. 1 Bernard Arnault, who is now just $16.7 billion ahead.

Francois Pinault

Net Worth: $40.7 billion Up: $1.7 bil, +4.4%

Pinault’s luxury goods group Kering reported fourth-quarter and full-year results on Wednesday. Even with a drop in sales from its Gucci brand in the fourth quarter and turmoil surrounding Balenciaga (which drew criticism in December for images of children that some critics said were inappropriate), the company’s shares jumped on the news. Pinault, the 86-year-old founder of luxury group Kering, saw a 4.4% increase in his wealth. Shares of Kering are up 22% since the start of the year amid increased demand for luxury goods.

Bernard Arnault

Net Worth: $214.9 billion Up: $5.4 bil, +2.6%

The world’s richest person got 2.6% richer this past week. Shares of his luxury goods conglomerate LVMH rose just over 2.2% after it announced that Pharrell Williams would become the new Louis Vuitton men’s creative director. Virgil Abloh, the brand’s first Black artistic director, held the position until he passed away in November 2021. LVMH announced record 2022 results earlier this year and Arnault, who has said he hopes to keep the business in-family, appointed his daughter Delphine as the new head of the Dior brand in January. A month earlier, the luxury magnate named his son Antoine the CEO of Christian Dior SE, the holding company through which the Arnaults control LVMH.


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