Top 17 Richest People in the World: What do They Do and How Did They Achieve Their Wealth?

A year ago, the majority of billionaires had less money than they have now. Richest people in the world have a significant impact on philanthropy, politics, and the global economy. According to Forbes, there will be 2,640 billionaires in the globe in 2023. Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla as well as the owner of X (previously Twitter), is the richest of them all.

The people on this list are members of an richest people in the world and have even more authority. Many are the founders of massive technology companies, and a sizable portion of their fortune is still tied to the businesses they founded.

1.  Bernard Arnault

  • Age: 74
  • Residence: France
  • CEO and Chair: LVMH (LVMUY)
  • Net Worth: $186 billion
  • Christian Dior Ownership Stake: 97.5% ($145 billion total)
  • Other Assets: Moelis & Company equity ($28.8 billion public asset) and $13 billion in cash

Bernard Arnault, a French national, holds the position of CEO and chair at LVMH, the biggest luxury goods company globally. Louis Vuitton, Hennessey, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora are among the LVMH brands. Arnault’s substantial investment in Christian Dior SE, the holding company that owns 41.4% of LVMH, accounts for the majority of his wealth. He owns 6.2% of LVMH and shares of Christian Dior SE through Groupe Familial Arnault, his family’s holding firm.

Originally trained as an engineer, Arnault first shown his economic aptitude while employed by his father at Ferret-Savinel, the construction company he eventually took over as CEO in 1971. In 1979, he changed Ferret-Savinel into Férinel Inc., a real estate corporation.

2. Elon Musk

  • Age: 52
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder and CEO: Tesla
  • Net Worth: $235 billion
  • Tesla Ownership Stake: 13% ($106 billion)
  • X Ownership Stake: 79% ($8.8 billion)
  • Other Assets: Space Exploration Technologies ($53.2 billion private asset), The Boring Company ($3.33 billion private asset)
  • Additional assets include The Boring Company ($3.33 billion private asset) and Space Exploration Technologies ($53.2 billion private asset).

The richest guy on the planet is Elon Musk. After attending a Canadian institution and then moving to the institution of Pennsylvania, where he obtained bachelor’s degrees in economics and physics, he was born in South Africa. Two days following his admission to Stanford University’s graduate physics program, Musk withdrew from classes to introduce Zip2, one of the first internet navigation systems. A part of the startup’s profits were reinvested by him to launch, an online payment system that was eventually acquired by eBay (EBAY) and rebranded as PayPal Holdings (PYPL).

Musk started contributing significantly to Tesla Motors (now Tesla) in 2004, which helped him advance to the CEO role at the electric vehicle manufacturer. Apart from its electric car range, Tesla also manufactures energy storage devices, car accessories, and solar power systems, which it acquired in 2016 from SolarCity.

3. Jeff Bezos

  • Age: 59
  • Residence: United States
  • Founder and Executive Chair: Amazon (AMZN)
  • Net Worth: $162 billion
  • Amazon Ownership Stake: 10% ($137 billion)
  • Other Assets: Blue Origin ($11.2 billion private asset), The Washington Post ($250 million private asset), Koru ($500 million private asset), and $13.8 billion in cash.
  • Additional assets include $13.8 billion in cash, The Washington Post ($250 million), Koru ($500 million), Blue Origin ($11.2 billion), and The Washington Post ($250 million).

Jeff Bezos started in a Seattle garage in 1994, not long after leaving the massive hedge fund D.E. In Shaw. When he had first proposed the concept of an online bookshop to David E. Shaw, his old supervisor, Shaw had expressed no interest.

Despite having begun as a book seller, Amazon has evolved into a one-stop shop for everything and is predicted to surpass Walmart as the biggest retailer in the world by 2024. When it comes to some of its surprising forays into new markets, including the pharmacy industry and the acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017, Amazon has a consistent pattern of diversification.

Before giving 4% of Amazon to his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott as part of their divorce settlement, Bezos owned as much as 16% of the company in 2019. Amazon’s stock price increased by 76% in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic and increased demand for online purchasing. Bezos became the executive chair of the massive e-commerce company on July 5, 2021, after leaving his position as CEO.

4. Larry Ellison

  • Age: 79
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder, Chair, and CTO: Oracle (ORCL)
  • Net Worth: $134 billion
  • Oracle Ownership Stake: 42%+ ($101 billion)
  • Other Assets: Tesla equity ($11.6 billion public asset), $21.2 billion in cash

In New York City, Larry Ellison was born to a 19-year-old single mother. Following his 1966 departure from the University of Chicago, Ellison settled in California and pursued a career in computer programming. He met future business partners Ed Oates and Bob Miner when he started working at the electronics company Ampex in 1973. After working for Precision Instruments for three years, Ellison became vice president of research and development.

Read more: 8 Top Obstacles to Avoid if You Want to be Financially Free

Along with Oates and Miner, Ellison established Software Development Laboratories in 1977. The first commercial relational database program to use Structured Query Language, Oracle, was launched by the business two years later. Because of the database program’s overwhelming popularity, SDL renamed itself Oracle Systems Corporation in 1982. It took Ellison 37 years to leave Oracle as CEO, and he did so in 2014. In December 2018, he became a board member of Tesla and left in June 2022.

5. Warren Buffett

  • Age: 93
  • Residence: United States
  • CEO: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)
  • Net Worth: $121 billion
  • Berkshire Hathaway Ownership Stake: 15% ($119 billion)54
  • Other Assets: $1.28 billion in cash

At the age of 14, Warren Buffett, the most well-known value investor alive, filed his first tax return in 1944, reporting revenues from his childhood paper route. By 1965, he had amassed a sizable stake in the textile company Berkshire Hathaway, having initially purchased shares in 1962. In 1967, Buffett increased the company’s assets to include investments in insurance and other areas.

Often referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Buffett is a buy-and-hold investor who amassed wealth by purchasing undervalued businesses. Berkshire Hathaway has made investments in sizable, well-known businesses more recently. Along with consumer goods, its portfolio of fully owned companies includes interests in railroads, energy distribution, insurance, and insurance.

6. Bill Gates

  • Age: 67
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder: Microsoft (MSFT)
  • Net Worth: $129 billion
  • Microsoft Ownership Stake: 1.4% ($21.2 billion)
  • Other Assets: $63.3 billion in cash and billions over multiple other companies

In 1975, Bill Gates joined his childhood friend Paul Allen at Harvard University to concentrate on creating new software for the first microcomputers. After the success of this effort, Gates left Harvard in his junior year and co-founded Microsoft with Allen.

Microsoft, the world’s biggest software corporation, also makes a range of personal computers, offers email services via its exchange server, and retails video game consoles and related accessories. It has made significant recent investments in cloud services.

In 2008, Gates moved from being the company’s CEO to the position of board chair. He became a board member of Berkshire Hathaway in 2004. He resigned on March 13, 2020, from both boards.

7.  Michael Bloomberg

  • CEO, Bloomberg
  • Net Worth: $96.3billion

In 1981, Michael Bloomberg cofounded the media and financial information business Bloomberg LP. Having invested in the company’s initial capital, he currently holds 88% of its estimated $12 billion in revenue. In 1966, Bloomberg began his career on Wall Street as an entry-level employee of Salomon Brothers, an investment bank. Fifteen years later, he was fired.

He is a well-known philanthropist who has contributed more than $12.7 billion to causes like gun control and climate change. In November 2019, he declared his intention to run for president; however, he withdrew from the race in March 2020, having spent hundreds of millions of dollars to beat Donald Trump.

8. Carlos Slim Helu & family

  • Honorary Chairman, América Móvil
  • Net Worth: $93billion

América Móvil, the largest mobile telecom company in Latin America, is owned by Carlos Slim Helú, the richest person in Mexico, and his family. Investing in Telmex, the sole phone provider in Mexico, with international telecom partners, Slim did so in 1990. Now a part of América Móvil is Telmex.

In addition, he has investments in Mexican real estate, consumer products, mining, and construction firms. In the past, he owned 17% of The New York Times. Slim’s vast and varied art collection is housed in the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, which was constructed by his son-in-law Fernando Romero. A major corporation in Latin America, Grupo Carso is owned by Slim and his family to the tune of 79%.

9. Mukesh Ambani  (India)

  • Age: 64
  • Net worth: $90.7 billion

Reliance Industries, with $110 billion in revenue, is chaired and managed by Mukesh Ambani. The company is involved in retail, petrochemicals, communications, and oil and gas. His late father, yarn trader Dhirubhai Ambani, started Reliance as a modest textile business in 1966. Ambani and his younger brother Anil divided up the family business following the death of their father in 2002.

Jio, Reliance’s broadband and telecom service, has around 450 million users. Reliance listed Jio Financial Services, its financial division, in August 2023.

10. Steve Ballmer

  • Age: 67
  • Residence: United States
  • Owner: Los Angeles Clippers
  • Net Worth: $114 billion
  • Microsoft Ownership Stake: 4% ($105 billion total)
  • Other Assets: Los Angeles Clippers ($3.73 billion private asset), The Forum ($400 million private asset), Intuit Dome ($2 billion private asset), $3.35 billion in cash

Additional assets include $3.35 billion in cash, the Los Angeles Clippers ($3.73 billion private asset), The Forum ($400 million private asset), and Intuit Dome ($2 billion private asset).

Steve Ballmer left Stanford University’s MBA program in 1980, persuaded by Bill Gates to do so. He thereafter joined Microsoft. He’d been hired by Microsoft on the 30th. In 2000, Ballmer succeeded Gates as CEO of Microsoft. He served in that capacity until resigning in 2014. Ballmer oversaw Skype’s $8.5 billion acquisition by Microsoft in 2011.

Ballmer is the largest individual stakeholder of Microsoft, holding an estimated 4% of the software giant. Shortly after leaving his position as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, Ballmer paid $2 billion to acquire the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team.

When Ballmer and Bill Gates were both students at Harvard, they shared a dorm and a floor. When Ballmer began pushing the tech company into products during his stint as CEO—such as the Surface tablet and the Windows mobile phone—their fraternal connection soured.

11. Francoise Bettencourt

  • Net Worth $80.5B

The richest woman in the world is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, a granddaughter of L’Oreal’s founder. Approximately 33% of L’Oreal’s shares is owned by Bettencourt Meyers and her family. She is the head of the family holding firm and has been a member of the L’Oreal board since 1997.

When her mother Liliane Bettencourt, the richest woman in the world at the time, passed away in 2017 at the age of 94, she took over as France’s reigning L’Oreal heiress. In addition, Bettencourt Meyers leads her family’s charitable foundation, which promotes advancements in the arts and sciences in France. L’Oreal and the Bettencourt Meyers family decided to pool their $226 million donation to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral after the fire in April 2019.

12. Larry Page

  • Age: 50
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder and Board Member: Alphabet (GOOG)
  • Net Worth: $123 billion
  • Alphabet Ownership Stake: 6% ($106.6 billion total)
  • Other Assets: $16.1 billion in cash

Similar to most software millionaires featured in this list, Larry Page started his journey to success and wealth in a college dorm room. In 1995, Page and buddy Sergey Brin of Stanford University came up with the idea to enhance Internet data extraction. The two created a brand-new search engine technology that they named Backrub because of its capacity to evaluate page links.

Read more: Court to Castle: The Richest Basketball Players of All Time

After that, Page and Brin founded Google in 1998, with Page leading the business as CEO twice—from 2011 to 2019 and again until 2001. With over 92% of all searches made worldwide, Google is the most used search engine online. The business bought YouTube, the most popular website for user-submitted videos, in 2006.

13. Amancio Ortega

  • Net Worth: $77.3 billion

Amancio Ortega, a Spanish apparel retailer, is among the wealthiest people on the planet. A trailblazer in the fast fashion industry, he cofounded Inditex in 1975 alongside his ex-wife Rosalia Mera (d. 2013), best known for the Zara clothing line. With eight brands, including Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear, and 7,500 outlets worldwide, he owns almost 60% of the Madrid-listed Inditex company.

Every year, Ortega usually receives more than $400 million in dividend payments. Inditex declared in November 2021 that his daughter Marta Ortega Pérez will take over as chair in April 2022. His main real estate investments with his dividends have been in Madrid, Barcelona, London, Chicago, Miami, and New York.

14.  Sergey Brin

  • Age: 50
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder and Board Member: Alphabet (GOOG)
  • Net Worth: $113 billion
  • Alphabet Ownership Stake: 6% ($100.2 billion total)
  • Other Assets: $16.2 billion in cash

Born in Moscow, Russia, Sergey Brin moved to the United States in 1979 with his family when he was six years old. When Eric Schmidt took over as CEO of Google in 2001, Brin, who had co-founded the company with Larry Page in 1998, was named president of technology. Following the company’s founding in 2015, he maintained the same position at Alphabet, retiring in 2019 to make way for Sundar Pichai as CEO.

Google provides a range of online tools and services called Google Workspace, which includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and more. Google is the leading search engine on the internet. In addition, Google sells a range of electronics, such as the Stadia game platform, Nest smart home appliances, and Pixel smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

15. Zhong Shanshan

  • Net Worth: $68B billion
  • Source of Wealth: Beverages, pharmaceuticals, Self Made

The founder and chairman of Nongfu Spring is Zhong Shanshan. The company sells bottled water and floated its stock in Hong Kong in September 2020. Zhong, who was born in Hangzhou, left elementary school during the turbulent Cultural Revolution in China. Before launching his own company, he worked as a beverage sales representative, a newspaper reporter, and a construction worker.

Zhong is also in charge of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, which produces quick diagnostic tests for Covid-19 and other infectious disorders. Zhong Shu Zi, his son, is the non-executive director of Nongfu Spring.

16. Mark Zuckerberg

  • Age: 39
  • Residence: United States
  • CEO and Chair: Meta Platforms (META)
  • Net Worth: $64.4 billion
  • Meta Platforms Ownership Stake: 13% ($104 billion total)
  • Other Assets: $3.95 billion in cash

While attending Harvard University in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook (now Meta) with fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. When Facebook started to be utilized at other colleges, Zuckerberg left Harvard to concentrate solely on his expanding company. Zuckerberg currently serves as the chair and CEO of Meta, an organization with 3 billion monthly active users as of Q2 2023.

The largest social networking site in the world is called Facebook. Since the website is free to use, advertising accounts for the majority of the business’s income. Meta is also home to a number of other brands, such as the photo-sharing app Instagram, which it purchased in 2012; the virtual reality headset manufacturer Oculus and the cross-platform mobile messaging service WhatsApp, both purchased in 2014; Workplace, its platform for enterprise connectivity; and Portal, its range of video-calling devices.

17. Charles Koch

  • Net Worth: $59 billion

Since 1967, Charles Koch has served as chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, the second-largest private firm in America based on revenue. The diverse company’s businesses, which include pipelines, chemicals, software, automotive components, and Dixie cups, generate almost $125 billion in revenue.

In 1927, his father, Fred Koch, developed a process for turning heavy oil into gasoline. In 1940, the family firm was founded. The Kansas native and his late brother David, who passed away in August 2019, each held a 42 percent share in the business. Charles and David purportedly paid close to $800 million for their two other brothers’ shares in Koch Industries in 1983.

The company’s venture capital division, led by his son Chase, has made investments in smart supply chain company Arkestro and AI-based neurological diagnostic company NeuraLight.

The Final Word

It may be necessary to pursue a career as a luxury retail guru or technical pioneer if you want to go up the billionaire ranks. Alternatively, make things easy and concentrate on value investment.

Although it wouldn’t hurt to have been born into riches, some of the greatest fortunes on our list began as brilliant ideas that motivated individuals with the right connections, ingenuity, and ambition to create some of the biggest businesses in the world, maybe one day you will be one of the richest people in the world.

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