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22 People Who Are Getting Rich Thanks to COVID-19

·8 min read
New York, NY - May 15, 2019: Jeff Bezos arrives at the Statue Of Liberty Museum Opening Celebration at Battery Park.
New York, NY - May 15, 2019: Jeff Bezos arrives at the Statue Of Liberty Museum Opening Celebration at Battery Park.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people have lost their jobs or had their hours at work drastically cut. And after the end of the $600 boost to unemployment payments, many are struggling to survive financially.

See: Rich People Who Still Have Frugal Habits

While many Americans find themselves in their worst-ever financial situation, a select few have profited from the coronavirus pandemic. From Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to Zoom founder Eric Yuan, these are some of the individuals who are getting rich thanks to COVID-19.

Last updated: Dec. 1, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05:  Bill Ackman attends The Pershing Square Foundation 10th Anniversary Celebration at Park Avenue Armory on June 5, 2017 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Bill Ackman attends The Pershing Square Foundation 10th Anniversary Celebration at Park Avenue Armory on June 5, 2017 in New York City.

Bill Ackman

Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman began buying insurance on various bond indexes in February based on his belief that investors would abandon the riskier securities in those indexes as the coronavirus continued its spread, The New York Times reported. He continued buying through March 3 and sold his positions on March 23, the day the Federal Reserve announced it was putting together an array of loans and other forms of credit totaling around $4 trillion. This move landed Ackman a profit of $2.6 billion.

“For speed and accuracy, Mr. Ackman’s bet may be the single best trade of all time,” William D. Cohan, a former investment banker, wrote in an op-ed for The Times.

CANNES, FRANCE - JUNE 24:  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives a speech during the Microsoft Advertising Seminar as part of the 56th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival on June 24, 2009 in Cannes, France.
CANNES, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives a speech during the Microsoft Advertising Seminar as part of the 56th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival on June 24, 2009 in Cannes, France.

Steve Ballmer

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer saw his net worth surge by more than $1 billion during the first weeks of the pandemic, according to Inequality.org. Microsoft has benefited from the coronavirus pandemic, too, with a rise in demand for its cloud computing software as businesses transitioned to remote work, as well as an increase in players of its video game, Minecraft, Reuters reported in late July.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 05: Moderna CEO, Stephane Bancel attends 2019 Forbes Healthcare Summit at the Jazz at Lincoln Center on December 05, 2019 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 05: Moderna CEO, Stephane Bancel attends 2019 Forbes Healthcare Summit at the Jazz at Lincoln Center on December 05, 2019 in New York City.

Stéphane Bancel

Publicly traded healthcare companies generally have fared well during the coronavirus pandemic, and Stéphane Bancel is one CEO who has benefited from investors’ interest in the coronavirus vaccines, treatments and testing kits. Bancel leads Moderna Therapeutics, which began human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine on March 16 — the first company to do so. Moderna’s stock has risen more than 103% since the pandemic began, and Bancel’s net worth rose from $720 million to $1.5 billion, Forbes reported.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 28:  Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos delivers remarks during the opening ceremony of the media company's new location January 28, 2016 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 28: Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos delivers remarks during the opening ceremony of the media company's new location January 28, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Jeff Bezos

As of April, Jeff Bezos had added $24 billion to his net worth thanks to a surge in demand for Amazon home deliveries as people remained at home, The Guardian reported. Although Bezos warned investors that the company could lose money in the second quarter due to Amazon’s extra spending on coronavirus-related expenses, the exact opposite happened. In the second quarter, Amazon doubled its net profit year over year to $5.2 billion, compared to $2.6 billion over the same time period in 2019, The Verge reported.

Making Changes: 47 CEOs Taking Pay Cuts To Help Their Companies Survive the Coronavirus

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10:  Co-founder and co-CEO of Robinhood Vladimir Tenev speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 10, 2016 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Co-founder and co-CEO of Robinhood Vladimir Tenev speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 10, 2016 in New York City.

Baiju Bhatt and Vladimir Tenev

Millions of Americans decided to invest their $1,200 stimulus check — and many of those decided to do it through Robinhood, the discount brokerage phone app that caters to investing novices, Forbes reported. Robinhood has added more than 3 million accounts since January, and it expects revenue to hit $700 million in 2020 — a 250% increase from 2019. That’s good news for co-founders Baiju Bhatt and Vladimir Tenev, both minority owners of Robinhood with estimated 10%-plus stakes.

Pictured: Robinhood co-founder Vladimir Tenev speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016.

Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin, Alphabet
Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin, Alphabet

Sergey Brin and Larry Page

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the co-founders of Google’s parent company Alphabet, have gotten wealthier amid the pandemic. During a single day in May, Brin’s fortune grew by $919 million and Page’s increased by $956 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Google is one of the tech companies that has continued to be profitable during the coronavirus pandemic as consumers have relied more on digital services, The New York Times reported.

Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook became a billionaire in early August as the company’s shares rose in value, CNN said. Apple reported blockbuster earnings in the third quarter with Mac and iPad sales “actually benefiting nicely” due to remote work and learning needs, analysts at Piper Sandler noted, according to CNBC.

Doctor's hands in protection gloves holds Testing Kit for the coronavirus test.
Doctor's hands in protection gloves holds Testing Kit for the coronavirus test.

Gustavo Denegri

Serial entrepreneur Gustavo Denegri’s investment in the Italian biotech firm DiaSorin has paid off amid the pandemic. His 45% stake in the company has netted him a 32% increase in his net worth, which was pushed up to $4.5 billion, Forbes reported. DiaSorin has launched swab-based diagnostic tests and antibody blood testing kits for COVID-19.

Pictured: A coronavirus test kit, like the ones Denegri has invested in through the biotech firm DiaSorin.

SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 10:  Bill Gates, chairman and founder of Microsoft Corp.
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 10: Bill Gates, chairman and founder of Microsoft Corp.

Bill Gates

Like Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates seems to be benefiting from Microsoft’s strong performance during the pandemic. Although Gates only owns roughly 1% of Microsoft shares, according to Forbes, his net worth rose from $100 billion in March to $115.2 billion as of Aug. 24.

Not a Good Look: Macy’s, Disney and 11 Other Companies Paying Execs Millions as They Declare Bankruptcy and Slash Jobs

Reed-Hastings
Reed-Hastings

Reed Hastings

Reed Hastings might have “Tiger King” to thank for his boost in net worth. Netflix subscriptions have surged since the start of the pandemic, leading shares of the streaming service to reach record highs, Forbes reported. Hastings, the co-founder and CEO of Netflix, has gotten $1.3 billion richer since the end of March. He is now worth $5 billion.

Celltrion's COVID-19 treatment material approved for trials, Korea - 17 Jul 2020
Celltrion's COVID-19 treatment material approved for trials, Korea - 17 Jul 2020

Seo Jung-Jin

Seo Jung-Jin is another healthcare executive whose net worth is rising thanks to COVID-19. As CEO of South Korean biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion, Seo has become about $1.5 billion richer since March 11, Forbes reported. Celltrion has developed a rapid-result diagnostic test and is also working to develop a treatment for the coronavirus.

Pictured: Vials full of Celltrion Inc.’s CT-P59 coronavirus treatment, ready to be used in trials in South Korea.

Alain Merieux, president of the ''Fondation Merieux'', a foundation dedicated to the fight against infectious diseases attends the traditional ceremony of the Vow of the Aldermen presided over by Michel Dubost at the Basilica of Fourviere in Lyon, France, on September 8, 2019.
Alain Merieux, president of the ''Fondation Merieux'', a foundation dedicated to the fight against infectious diseases attends the traditional ceremony of the Vow of the Aldermen presided over by Michel Dubost at the Basilica of Fourviere in Lyon, France, on September 8, 2019.

Alain Mérieux

Alain Mérieux, founder of diagnostic test maker BioMérieux, has become $1.5 billion richer since March, Forbes reported. BioMérieux is one of the key players in the race to expand testing for COVID-19.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s net worth has tripled since March 18, Business Insider reported. As of Aug. 24, Musk was worth $89.8 billion, Forbes reported. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has increased his net worth by billions amid the pandemic thanks in part to reportedly partnering with medical equipment companies, according to GQ.

Ups and Downs: The Biggest Stock Climbs and Falls of 2020 So Far

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: (L-R) Actor Daniel Craig, Maja Oer and director Steve McQueen attend Museum Of Modern Art's 2014 Party In The Garden at Museum of Modern Art on May 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: (L-R) Actor Daniel Craig, Maja Oer and director Steve McQueen attend Museum Of Modern Art's 2014 Party In The Garden at Museum of Modern Art on May 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)

Maja Oeri

A descendant of Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, who founded the Swiss pharma company Roche in 1896, Maja Oeri has gained wealth thanks to her 5% share in the business. Roche is developing both coronavirus treatments and an antibodies test, Forbes reported. Oeri’s net worth has jumped about 10% since the pandemic started — she is now worth $3.2 billion.

Pictured: Maja Oeri (center) posing with actor Daniel Craig (left) and director Steve McQueen (right) at the Museum of Modern Art’s 2014 Party In The Garden, New York City.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mike Groll/AP/REX/Shutterstock (5931919b)Len Schleifer Len Schleifer, president of Regeneron and a member of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, speaks during a hearing, in Albany, N.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mike Groll/AP/REX/Shutterstock (5931919b)Len Schleifer Len Schleifer, president of Regeneron and a member of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, speaks during a hearing, in Albany, N.

Leonard Schleifer

Leonard Schleifer is the CEO and co-founder of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which began clinical trials of its rheumatoid arthritis drug sarilumab on COVID-19 patients in March, Forbes reported. Schleifer’s net worth has risen 11% since the pandemic started, bringing his net worth to $2.2 billion.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Pfizer Inc.
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Pfizer Inc.

Andreas and Thomas Struengmann

Billionaire twins Andreas and Thomas Struengmann have invested in a number of biotech and healthcare companies over the years, including German biotech upstart BioNTech. The company has partnered with Pfizer and Fosun Pharmaceuticals to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. The Struengmanns are now worth $6.9 billion each — an 11% increase since the start of the pandemic, Forbes reported.

Pictured: The Pfizer company logo.

Non-invasive ventlation face mask, on background medical ventilator in ICU n hospital.
Non-invasive ventlation face mask, on background medical ventilator in ICU n hospital.

Li Xiting

Li Xiting is the co-founder of medical device maker Mindray Medical International, which now is China’s largest producer of medical equipment, Forbes reported. Mindray tripled its production of ventilators to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and donated $4.6 million worth of medical devices to hospitals around the world, Forbes reported. Despite the large donations the company has made, Li’s net worth still has risen. His net worth is now $12.6 billion.

Pictured: A ventilation face mask in a hospital ICU, much like the equipment Li’s company is making amid the pandemic.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Zoom founder Eric Yuan speaks before the Nasdaq opening bell ceremony on April 18, 2019 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Zoom founder Eric Yuan speaks before the Nasdaq opening bell ceremony on April 18, 2019 in New York City.

Eric Yuan

Eric Yuan is the founder and CEO of video conferencing startup Zoom Technologies, Inc. His net worth jumped 112% to $7.57 billion in three months — a nearly $4 billion rise — as many businesses transitioned to remote work and turned to Zoom to keep employees connected, Business Insider reported.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 24:  Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg  speaks during his keynote conference as part of the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2014 at the Fira Gran Via complex on February 24, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 24: Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during his keynote conference as part of the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2014 at the Fira Gran Via complex on February 24, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.

Mark Zuckerberg

As of May, Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth had risen $30 billion since the coronavirus pandemic hit hard in March, Business Insider reported. Facebook reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings with $17.74 billion in revenue. Perhaps more people are using social media as they spend more time at home — Facebook reported that during the first quarter of 2020 it reached 3 billion monthly users across its line of apps, which includes Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 22 People Who Are Getting Rich Thanks to COVID-19