Forbes Billionaire - Top Richest Person In 2021
The richest people on Earth are not immune to the coronavirus. As the pandemic tightened its grip on Europe and America, global equity markets imploded, tanking many fortunes.
1. Jeff Bezos $185.9 B 📉$3.7B | 1.97%
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $185.9 billion and ranks as the richest person on the earth today. His position remains the same even after divorcing his wife MacKenzie in 2019 and transferring a quarter of his stake in Amazon to her. Bezos founded the behemoth Amazon in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle. The e-commerce giant has reaped the benefits of this coronavirus pandemic, with more number of people shopping online.
2. Elon Musk $160.3 B 📈$4.7 B | 3.03%
Elon Musk is working to revolutionize transportation both on Earth, through electric car maker Tesla - and in space, via rocket producer SpaceX. Elon Musk's rocket company is now valued at nearly $100 billion, currently, his net worth is $147.7 billion. Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX is now valued at nearly $100 billion. Tesla has become the world’s most valuable automaker with a market capitalisation of $342 billion.
3. Bernard Arnault & Family $151.3B 📈$382 M | 0.25%
One of the world's ultimate taste-makers, Bernard Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora. In November 2019, LVMH struck a deal to buy American jeweler Tiffany & Co for $16.2 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 $119.3B 📉$1.1B | 0.88%
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 $98.8B 📉$1.5B | 1.52%
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. Zhong Shanshan $92.2B 📈$13.6 B | 17.36%
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.
7. Larry Ellison $87.6B 📉$653M | 0.74%
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. Warren Buffett $86.4B 📉$1.1B | 1.22%
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.
9. Mukesh Ambani $76.9B 📈$234 M | 0.30%
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.
10. Larry Page $76.2B 📉$1B | 1.30%
Larry Page stepped down as CEO of Alphabet, the parent of Google, in December 2019 but remains a board member and a controlling shareholder. He cofounded Google in 1998 with fellow Stanford Ph.D. student Sergey Brin. With Brin, Page invented Google's PageRank algorithm, which powers the search engine. Page was CEO until 2001, when Eric Schmidt took over, and then from 2011 until 2015, when he became CEO of Google's new parent company Alphabet. He is a founding investor in space exploration company Planetary Resources and is also funding "flying car" startups Kitty Hawk and Opener.
11. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers & Family $75B 📈$205M | 0.27%
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is the richest woman in the world and the granddaughter of L'Oreal's founder. Bettencourt Meyers and her family own 33% of L'Oreal stock, which recorded its best sales growth in more than a decade in 2019. 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 serves as the president of her family's philanthropic foundation, which encourages French progress in the sciences and arts.
Togther, L'Oreal and the Bettencourt Meyers family agreed to donate $226 million to repair Notre Dame cathedral following the April 2019 fire.
12. Sergey Brin $74.1B 📉$963B | 1.28%
Sergey Brin stepped down as president of Alphabet, parent company of Google, in December 2019 but remains a controller shareholder and a board member. 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.
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