Top 20 Richest Billionaires In The World Right Now
|Top 20 Wealthiest Billionaires In The World|
1. Jeff Bezos
Net Worth: $177 billions
|Photo: Getty Images|
• Jeff Bezos founded e-commerce giant Amazon in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle. He will step down as CEO and become executive chairman in late 2021.
• Between March and April 2020, amid the pandemic, Amazon said it hired 175,000 additional workers.
• In April 2020, Bezos said he would give $100 million to Feed America, a nonprofit that operates food banks and food pantries across the country.
• Amazon has faced criticism from U.S. senators and the general public for its treatment of warehouse workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
• He divorced his wife MacKenzie in 2019 after 25 years of marriage and transferred a quarter of his Amazon stake to her.
• In 2019, Amazon notched $280.5 billion in revenues and a record $11.5 billion in net profit.
• Bezos owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace company that is developing rockets for commercial use.
2. Elon Musk
Net Worth: $151 billions
• He owns 21% of Tesla but has pledged more than half his stake as collateral for loans; Forbes has discounted his stake to take the loans into account.
• He stepped down as chairman in 2018, after making alleged "false statements" about a plan to take Tesla private, triggering an SEC probe.
• SpaceX, Musk's rocket company, is now valued at $74 billion after its latest funding round in February 2021.
• He grew up in South Africa, then immigrated to Canada at age 17. He landed in the U.S. as a transfer student to the University of Pennsylvania.
3. Bernard Arnault & family
Net Worth: $150 billions
• One of the world's ultimate taste-makers, Bernard Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
• In January 2021, LVMH completed a deal for American jeweler Tiffany & Co for $15.8 billion, believed to be the biggest luxury brand acquisition ever.
• LVMH spent $3.2 billion in 2019 for luxury hospitality group, Belmond, which owns or manages 46 hotels, trains and river cruises.
• His father made a small fortune in construction; Arnault got his start by putting up $15 million from that business to buy Christian Dior in 1985.
• Four of Arnault's five children work in corners of the LVMH empire: Frédéric, Delphine, Antoine and Alexandre.
4. Bill Gates
Net Worth: $124 billions
• With his wife Melinda, Bill Gates chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private charitable foundation.
• In May 2020, the Gates Foundation said it would spend $300 million to fight the coronavirus pandemic, funding treatment, detection and vaccines.
• Gates has sold or given away much of his stake in Microsoft -- he owns just over 1% of shares -- and invested in a mix of stocks and other assets.
• In mid-March 2020, Gates stepped down as a board member of Microsoft, the software firm he founded with Paul Allen (d. 2018) in 1975.
• The foundation works to improve global health and to create equal opportunity for people around the globe.
• To date, Gates has donated $35.8 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the Gates Foundation.
5. Mark Zuckerberg
Net Worth: $97 billions
• Facebook, the social network Zuckerberg runs, has become a go-to communications tool during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
• More than 1,000 advertisers joined boycott in June to protest Facebook's lax policing of hate speech and misleading posts from politicians.
• Zuckerberg started Facebook at Harvard in 2004 at the age of 19 for students to match names with photos of classmates.
• He took Facebook public in May 2012 and still owns about 15% of the stock.
• In December 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook stake over their lifetimes.
6. Warren Buffett
Net Worth: $96 billions
• Known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time.
• Buffett runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns more than 60 companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen.
• The son of a U.S. congressman, he first bought stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13.
• He has promised to donate over 99% of his wealth. So far he has given more than $41 billion, mostly to the Gates Foundation and his kids' foundations.
• In 2010, he and Bill Gates launched the Giving Pledge, asking billionaires to commit to donating at least half of their wealth to charitable causes.
7. Larry Ellison
Net Worth: $93 billions
• Larry Ellison is chairman, chief technology officer and cofounder of software giant Oracle, of which he owns about 35.4%.
• He gave up the Oracle CEO role in 2014 after 37 years at the helm.
• Oracle has grown in part through steady acquisitions of software companies, the biggest of which was $9.3 billion for Netsuite in 2016.
• In May 2016, Ellison pledged $200 million to the University of Southern California for a cancer treatment center.
• In 2012, Ellison spent $300 million to buy nearly all of Hawaiian island Lanai; so far, he has built a hydroponic farm and a luxury spa there.
• Ellison joined Tesla's board in December 2018, after purchasing 3 million Tesla shares earlier that year.
8. Larry Page
Net Worth: $91.5 billions
Larry Page, byname of Lawrence Edward Page, (born March 26, 1973, East Lansing, Michigan, U.S.), American computer scientist and entrepreneur who, with Sergey Brin, created the online search engine Google, one of the most popular sites on the Internet.
Page stepped down as CEO in 2001 to become president of products. He was replaced as CEO by technology executive Eric Schmidt. However, both he and Brin remained intimately involved in running Google. By 2004 the search engine was being utilized 200 million times a day. On August 19, 2004, Google Inc. issued its initial public offering (IPO), which netted Page more than $3.8 billion. In an acquisition reflecting the company’s efforts to expand its services beyond Internet searches, Google purchased in 2006 the most popular Web site for user-submitted streaming videos, YouTube, for $1.65 billion in stock. In 2011 Page resumed his duties as Google’s CEO, Schmidt having moved to the position of executive chairman. Google was restructured in August 2015 as a subsidiary of the newly created holding company Alphabet Inc., and Page became CEO of Alphabet. Page left that post in December 2019 but continued to serve on Alphabet’s board of directors.
9. Sergey Brin
Net Worth: $89 billions
|Photo: Getty Images|
Sergey Brin, (born August 21, 1973, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.), American computer scientist and entrepreneur who created, along with Larry Page, the online search engine Google, one of the most successful sites on the Internet.
He cofounded Google with Larry Page in 1998 after the two met at Stanford University while studying for advanced degrees in computer science.
Google went public in 2004 and changed its name to Alphabet in 2015.
Brin was absent from public Alphabet events for much of 2019; he spent his time on Alphabet's moonshot research lab X.
Brin is reportedly funding a high-tech airship project.
10. Mukesh Ambani
Net Worth: $84.5 billions
Mukesh Ambani chairs and runs $88 billion (revenue) Reliance Industries, which has interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom and retail.
Reliance was founded by his late father Dhirubhai Ambani, a yarn trader, in 1966 as a small textile manufacturer.
After his father's death in 2002, Ambani and his younger sibling Anil divvied up the family empire.
In 2016, Reliance sparked a price war in India's hyper-competitive telecom market with the launch of 4G phone service Jio.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Ambani raised more than $20 billion selling a third of Jio to a string of investors, such as Facebook and Google.
11. Amancio Ortega
Net Worth: $77 billions
Amancio Ortega of Spain is one of the wealthiest clothing retailers in the world.
A pioneer in fast fashion, he cofounded Inditex, known for its Zara fashion chain, with his ex-wife Rosalia Mera (d. 2013) in 1975.
He owns about 60% of Madrid-listed Inditex, which has 8 brands, including Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear, and 7,500 stores around the world.
Ortega typically earns more than $400 million in dividends a year.
He has invested his dividends primarily into real estate in Madrid, Barcelona, London, Chicago, Miami and New York.
12. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers & family
Net Worth: $73.6 billions
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is the granddaughter of the founder of L'Oreal and the richest woman in the world.
Bettencourt Meyers and her family own around 33% of L'Oreal stock.
She has served on L'Oreal's board since 1997 and is chairwoman of the family holding company.
She became France's reigning L'Oreal heiress in 2017 when her mother Liliane Bettencourt, then the world's richest woman, died at age 94.
Bettencourt Meyers also serves as the president of her family's philanthropic foundation, which encourages French progress in the sciences and arts.
Together, L'Oreal and the Bettencourt Meyers family agreed to donate $226 million to repair Notre Dame cathedral following the April 2019 fire.
13. Zhong Shanshan
Net Worth: $68.9 billions
Zhong Shanshan chairs Nongfu Spring, a bottled water company, which listed its shares in Hong Kong in September 2020.
Hangzhou-born Zhong dropped out of elementary school during China's chaotic Cultural Revolution.
He later had jobs as a construction worker, a newspaper reporter and a beverage sales agent before starting his own business.
Zhong also controls Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, which went public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in April 2020.
14. Steve Ballmer
Net Worth: $68.7 billions
Steven Anthony "Steve" Ballmer is an American businessman who served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft from January 2000 to February 2014. Prior to becoming the CEO he held a number of high profile positions at Microsoft, heading several departments including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support. He had also served as the Executive Vice President, Sales and Support, and President of Microsoft. As a college friend of Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, Ballmer was one of the early employees of the company. In fact, he was the first business manager hired by Gates. Born into an affluent family, Steve Ballmer grew up to be an exceptionally brilliant student with extraordinary skills in mathematics. He graduated from Harvard College and worked for a while at Procter & Gamble before joining the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He then dropped out in order to take up a position at his friend Bill Gates’ new venture and went on to enjoy phenomenal success at Microsoft. Retired from Microsoft following an illustrious career, Ballmer now focuses on another one of his passions—basketball—and is currently the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
15. Ma Huateng
Net Worth: $65.8 billions
Ma Huateng is a Chinese business magnate, engineer, investor, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, best known as one of the founders and the CEO of one of Asia’s most valuable companies, ‘Tencent.’ ‘Tencent’ also happens to be one of the biggest internet and technology companies in the world and the biggest gaming and entertainment conglomerate, too. Ma was born in Dongfang County and raised in Shenzhen, where he moved due to his father’s job. He graduated with a BS in computer science from ‘Shenzhen University’ and worked at a few telecommunications companies. Also known as “Pony Ma,” he laid the foundation of ‘Tencent’ in 1998, teaming up with four of his classmates from college. In 1999, ‘Tencent’ launched ‘OICQ,’ an instant-messaging service, which was the company’s first stepping stone to success. Within a decade, as the internet explosion took over the world, ‘Tencent’ grew and expanded its operations in different sections, such as gaming, online payments, e-commerce, media and entertainment, and digital advertisements. More recently, Ma has been named one of ‘Time’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ thrice. Currently, he is the richest man in China and the 14th-richest man in the world.
16. Carlos Slim Helu & family
Net Worth: $62.8 billions
Mexico's richest man, Carlos Slim Helu and his family control America Movil, Latin America's biggest mobile telecom firm.
With foreign telecom partners, Slim bought a stake in Telmex, Mexico's only phone company, in 1990. Telmex is now part of America Movil.
He also owns stakes in Mexican construction, consumer goods, mining and real estate companies and 17% of The New York Times.
His son-in-law Fernando Romero designed the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, home to Slim's extensive, eclectic art collection.
17. Alice Walton
Net Worth: $61.8 billions
Alice Walton is the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton.
She has focused on curating art, rather than working for Walmart like her siblings, Rob and Jim.
In 2011, she opened the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in her hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas.
Crystal Bridges features works from the likes of Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Mark Rothko.
In January 2020, she took aim at America's "broken" healthcare system and unveiled plans to open a holistic health institute in Bentonville.
18. Jim Walton
Net Worth: $60.2 billions
Jim Walton is the youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton.
He is chairman of the family's Arvest Bank, which today boasts assets of more than $20 billion.
Jim sat on Walmart's board for more than a decade before yielding the seat to his son, Steuart, in June 2016.
Collectively, he and other heirs of Sam Walton own about half of Walmart's stock.
Jim and sister Alice are spearheading a program that will issue $300 million in bonds to help charter schools invest in facilities.
19. Rob Walton
Net Worth: $59.5 billions
Rob Walton is the eldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton.
Walton took over as chairman upon his father's death in 1992.
He retired as chairman in June 2015 and was replaced by his son-in-law, Greg Penner. He still sits on Walmart's board.
He and other heirs of Sam Walton collectively own about half of Walmart's stock.
To keep up with demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, Walmart hired an additional 400,000 mostly temporary workers.
20. Michael Bloomberg
Net Worth: $59 billions
Michael Bloomberg cofounded financial information and media company Bloomberg LP in 1981.
He put in the seed funding for the company and now owns 88% of the business, which has revenues north of $10 billion.
Bloomberg got his start on Wall Street in 1966 with an entry level job at investment bank Salomon Brothers. He was fired 15 years later.
A major philanthropist, he has donated more than $5 billion to gun control, climate change and other causes.
He announced a run for president in November 2019 (but dropped out in March 2020), and has spent hundreds of millions to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.
The mayor of New York City for 12 years, Bloomberg is one of just four individuals to have served that long.
***READ MORE: Top 10 Most Influential Women in the World 2021
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