Zuckerberg’s net worth sinks; Gates remains richest American

Oftentimes the leader of a newly public company experiences a substantial increase in net worth, but Facebook’s shrinking share price has had the opposite effect for Mark Zuckerberg.

The Facebook CEO’s net worth came in at $9.4 billion in the latest calculation by those list-keepers at Forbes, down from an estimated $17.5 billion a year ago. That puts Zuckerberg at No. 36 on the annual Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.

No. 1 is a familiar face, Bill Gates, whose estimated net worth rose to $66 billion, up from $59 billion in the same list a year ago. Gates has significantly diversified his portfolio, but he remains Microsoft’s largest individual shareholder, and the company’s stock is up 14 percent over the past year, from around $27 in September 2011 to more than $31 a share now.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also saw his estimated net worth increase to $15.9 billion, from $13.9 billion a year ago, putting him at No. 18.

Among other Seattle-area tech moguls, Jeff Bezos rose to No. 11 on the list, at $23.2 billion, up from $19.1 billion last year.

Paul Allen’s net worth climbed to $15 billion, putting him just barely back in the Forbes 400 top 20, right behind Ballmer.

Photo of Mark Zuckerberg by Robert Scoble.