They are $200 billion less wealthy than last year, but still valued at $2.1 trillion.
According to Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list released on Tuesday, the 25 wealthiest individuals in the world have a combined net worth of $2.1 trillion in 2022, which is a decrease of $200 billion from the previous total of $2.3 trillion. This past year has been challenging for numerous billionaires, including those who occupy the highest positions on the list.
In general, Musk currently holds the second position, with a value that is $39 billion lower compared to a year ago. His expensive acquisition of Twitter, which was partly funded by selling Tesla shares, unsettled investors and resulted in him losing his status as the wealthiest person in the world. Bezos’ wealth decreased by $57 billion due to the decline in Amazon shares, causing him to drop from the second position in the world in 2022 to the third position this year. Jeff Bezos suffered the greatest loss as Amazon shares plummeted by 38%. Approximately half of the entire list is now less wealthy than they were last year, in contrast to two-thirds of the top 25.
The cryptocurrency downturn led to a decline in the ranking of Binance founder Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, from No. 19 last year to No. 167. Zhang Yiming, the founder of Bytedance, the parent company of Tik Tok, moved down one spot from No. 25 to No. 26 due to the challenges faced by his company, which resulted in a decrease in investor confidence. Two individuals were displaced from the top 25 rankings.
Bernard Arnault, the leader of the LVMH luxury goods conglomerate, has experienced a staggering increase of $53 billion in wealth, surpassing all other billionaires and securing the top position within this exclusive group. However, amidst this remarkable achievement, there is also positive news to be found. In the 2022 rankings, an additional eight individuals within the top 25 have seen their fortunes grow, including Amancio Ortega, the esteemed Spanish retailer, who has gained an impressive $17.7 billion. Furthermore, Michael Bloomberg, the co-founder of Bloomberg LP and former mayor of New York, has seen his wealth increase by $12.5 billion, while Carlos Slim Helú, the telecommunications tycoon from Mexico, has also experienced a substantial gain of $11.8 billion.
In the current year, David Thomson, a prominent figure in the Canadian media industry, and Phil Knight, one of the founders of Nike, have joined the ranks of the top 25 wealthiest individuals. This accomplishment is particularly noteworthy considering the significant decline in fortunes experienced by many others. These two individuals have successfully maintained their billionaire status.
Americans dominate the top ranks of billionaires, with India and France following closely behind with 25 billionaires each. The list consists mostly of individuals from the retail & fashion sector, with eight members, and the technology sector, where the top 25 have made their money.
(ASSETS VALUES ARE AS OF MARCH 10, 2023)
#1. Bernard Arnault and his family
Total assets: $211 Billion | Wealth origin: LVMH | Age: 74 | Nationality: France
Agache, the owner of LVMH, has proposed a reorganization of his holding company in July, with the intention of giving equal stakes to his children. He is now planning for succession and has become even wealthier than ever. Over the past 12 months, Arnault’s fortune has increased by $53 billion, making him one of the biggest gainers among billionaires. LVMH’s shares and revenue are at all-time highs, thanks to brands like Christian Dior, Tiffany & Co., And Louis Vuitton, which are owned by the luxury goods tycoon. This marks the first time that the French billionaire tops the World’s Billionaires list under the banner of LVMH.
#2. Elon Musk
Net value: $180 Billion | Wealth origin: Tesla, SpaceX | Age: 51 | Nationality: United States
One year ago, Musk’s net worth decreased by $39 billion. The tender offer for SpaceX, which concluded in early 2023, valued the company at close to $140 billion, an increase from the $127 billion valuation from last May. Investors have expressed disappointment over the $23 billion worth of Tesla shares that Musk sold to fund the acquisition. Since his announcement of the $44 billion Twitter takeover in April of last year, Tesla stock has declined by nearly 50%, surpassing the Nasdaq’s 18% drop. Musk’s excessive tweeting has largely caused him to lose his top position in the rankings.
Number 3. Jeff Bezos
Net value: $114 Billion | Wealth origin: Amazon | Age: 59 | Nationality: U.S.
In 2021, Bezos traveled to outer space using his company Blue Origin, created a buzz with a nearly finished $500 million luxury yacht, and increased his charitable contributions by supporting organizations like Bezos Academy, which offers free preschools, and providing grants from his Bezos Earth Fund after resigning as the CEO of Amazon. Due to a 38% decrease in Amazon stock, Bezos experienced the largest financial setback among billionaires, resulting in his fortune being $57 billion less than it was a year ago.
#4. Larry Ellison
Total assets: $107 Billion | Wealth origin: Oracle | Age: 78 | Nationality: United States
Four years after stepping down from the board of Tesla in August, former CEO and chairman of Oracle, Ellison, purchased one of Florida’s most expensive homes for $173 million, adding it to his already glitzy real estate portfolio. This acquisition showcases Ellison’s focus on security and his solid earnings, as Oracle’s shares increased by 10% in a tough year for the tech industry.
Number 5. Warren Buffett
Net value: $106 Billion | Wealth origin: Berkshire Hathaway | Age: 92 | Nationality: United States
In late March, Oracle, the veteran market crises advisor, reportedly advised the Biden administration on possible investments in regional banks. Over the past three years, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett has spent around $90 billion on stock buybacks and the acquisition of Alleghany Insurance Corp., Pumping cash into closed October stocks.
Number 6. Bill Gates
Net value: $104 Billion | Wealth origin: Microsoft | Age: 67 | Nationality: U.S.
Melinda and Bill Gates, former French wife and husband, are currently dedicating 25 years to enhancing the spending of the Gates Foundation. In an interview with Forbes in February, Gates mentioned that he considers artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT from OpenAI as significant as the internet and personal computers. Despite stepping down from Microsoft’s board in 2020, Gates still spends 10% of his time working with teams on software development, which is supported by Microsoft, the company he founded.
#7. Michael Bloomberg
Net value: $94.5 Billion | Wealth origin: Bloomberg LP | Age: 81 | Nationality: United States
In 2022, the projected earnings at his financial terminal and media enterprise rose to $13.3 billion, a rise from $12.5 billion in 2021, despite his philanthropic contributions of an additional $1.7 billion over the previous year. In March, Bloomberg ventured into Israeli politics through an editorial in The New York Times, expressing disapproval of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intentions to diminish the authority of the nation’s judiciary. Bloomberg, who has long been a proponent of Israel, is one of the founders of Bloomberg LP.
#8. Carlos Slim Helú and his family
Wealth: $93 Billion | Wealth Origin: Telecommunications | Age: 83 | Nationality: Mexican
In 2010, he paid nearly double the amount he had originally listed his historic Manhattan mansion for, which is situated opposite the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for a sum of $80 million. This is the first instance since 2019 where Slim’s wealth has increased by approximately $12 billion, positioning him as one of the top ten wealthiest individuals globally. Over the past year, the shares of América Móvil, Slim’s telecommunications company serving Latin America, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, experienced a 14% increase.
#9. Mukesh Ambani
Wealth: $83.4 Billion | Wealth Origin: Diversified | Age: 65 | Nationality: India
Anant, the son of Reliance’s energy ventures, is working on new projects. Isha, the daughter, is the head of the retail business. Akash, the older son, is the chairman of Jio, the telecom arm of Infocomm. Last year, Ambani sidestepped speculation about succession by giving key roles to his children. Reliance Industries, Ambani’s telecom-to-oil behemoth, became the first Indian company to surpass $100 billion in revenue. Ambani regained his spot as Asia’s richest person, surpassing Gautam Adani by 24 places.
#10. Steve Ballmer
Total Value: $80.7 Billion | Wealth Origin: Microsoft | Age: 67 | Nationality: American
Over the past year, mainly because of the decline in Microsoft stocks, the ex-CEO of Microsoft has seen his wealth decrease by $10 billion. With an expected finish date of 2024, he is constructing a privately financed arena worth $2 billion for them. The L.A. Clippers, ranked as the sixth most valuable NBA team, are currently enjoying great success.
#11. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers & relatives
Net value: $80.5 Billion | Wealth Origin: L’Oréal | Age: 69 | Nationality: France
Elsan, the operator of private hospitals in France, has hired her as the managing director for Invest Téthys, a firm specializing in investment. In addition to pledging $230 million for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral, the heiress of L’Oréal, the world’s richest woman, has maintained her title thanks to a 12% increase in the stock of the cosmetics giant in the last 12 months.
#12. Larry Page
Net value: $79.2 Billion | Wealth Origin: Google | Age: 50 | Nationality: United States
After not selling any shares since then, Page has also ceased to sell his stock: After selling more than $2.5 billion (before taxes) from May 2021 to April 2022. Page and cofounder Sergey Brin (No. 14) participated in strategy meetings in late 2022 during the competitive AI arms race fueled by ChatGPT three years after the Google cofounder withdrew from daily activities.
#13. Amancio Ortega
Wealth: $77.3 Billion | Origin of Fortune: Zara | Age: 87 | Nationality: Spain
Marta Ortega, the daughter of Inditex’s chair, was appointed as the chair in April 2022. Over the past year, Ortega’s wealth has increased by almost $18 billion. The revenue of nearly $35 billion experienced an 18% growth in the period ending on January 31, 2023, supported by strong sales. Additionally, the stock of the company rose by 39% in the previous 12 months. Inditex’s fashion retail empire, which is most recognized for the Zara chain in the United States, has been experiencing significant success.
#14. Sergey Brin
Wealth: $76 Billion | Wealth Origin: Google | Age: 49 | Nationality: American
He has donated a total of $1.1 billion to research the disease Parkinson’s. However, between April 2021 and May 2022, Brin sold more than $2.5 billion worth of Alphabet shares, which he had gifted only. It appears that in January, he filed a request to be the first to submit code changes to Google’s AI chatbot. But in 2019, Brin stopped “daily nagging” from two men who were like his cofounder Larry Page.
Number 15. Zhong Shanshan
Wealth: $68 Billion | Wealth Origin: Drinks, drugs | Age: 68 | Nationality: China
For the third year in a row, the bottled water mogul, Zhong-led beverage producer Nongfu Spring, became China’s wealthiest individual, as Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, the supplier of Covid tests, saw a decrease in stocks that was balanced out by Nongfu Spring’s gains at the conclusion of pandemic restrictions.
#16. Mark Zuckerberg
Total assets: $64.4 Billion | Wealth Origin: Facebook | Age: 38 | Nationality: United States
Unlike many tech founders, Zuckerberg remains at the helm as CEO, while the Zuckerberg Chan Initiative aims to create tools to help manage or cure all new diseases announced in Biohub Chicago. Since November, job cuts including layoffs of 21,000 tech and AI competition have not been easy for Meta Platforms.
#17. Charles Koch
Wealth: $59 Billion | Wealth Origin: Koch Industries | Age: 87 | Nationality: U.S.
Number 17. Julia Koch and her relatives
Estimated wealth: $59 billion | Wealth derived from: Koch Industries | Age: 60 | Nationality: American
In January, Julia Koch, the spouse of Charles’ sibling David (deceased in 2019), was chosen as a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Following 55 years of sole responsibility, Charles Koch recently declared that his chief operating officer will accompany him as co-CEO. In March 2022, Koch Industries, a diversified corporation located in Wichita, Kansas, revealed a reorganization of specific subsidiaries. The corporation recorded $125 billion in sales in 2022.
Number 19. Jim Walton
Net value: $58.8 Billion | Wealth origin: Walmart | 74 years old | Nationality: U.S.
#20. Robert Walton
Total assets: $57.6 Billion | Wealth origin: Walmart | Age: 78 | Nationality: U.S.
Number 21. Alice Walton
Wealth: $56.7 Billion | Wealth Origin: Walmart | Age: 73 | Nationality: U.S.
The investment in the NFL playoffs is off to a slow start unexpectedly with the missing team. The purchase of the Denver Broncos last August, which was funded by Rob Walton’s record-breaking $4.7 billion, likely helped the Walton family unload another $1.8 billion worth of stock over the past 12 months. After holding onto the retailer’s shares religiously for almost decades, Sam Walton’s children, who are the cofounders of Walmart, have become one of the biggest sellers in the market.
#22. David Thomson & relatives
Worth: $54.4 Billion | Wealth Origin: Media | Age: 65 | Nationality: Canada
In 2022, the person who added another $5.2 billion to his fortune is the richest person in Canada, with a 68% stake in Thomson Reuters conglomerate. His stake jumped 17%. The company, based in Toronto, acquired an automated tax software company called SurePrep in January, and it has been supplementing its core business of news and information with AI investments. Thomson chairs the company.
Number 23. Michael Dell
Net value: $50.1 Billion | Wealth origin: Dell Technologies | Age: 58 | Nationality: American
In October, MSD Partners, which oversees more than $12 billion, combined with fellow billionaire Byron Trott’s BDT & Co. The Dell chairman and CEO is $5 billion less wealthy this year following a 27% decline in Dell Technologies’ stock price. Nonetheless, his family office has expanded into a significant investment and advisory company.
#24. Gautam Adani
Net value: $47.2 Billion | Wealth Origin: Infrastructure, commodities | Age: 60 | Nationality: India
On January 24, Adani held the position of the third-wealthiest individual globally, with a net worth of approximately $126 billion. However, following the release of a report by Hindenburg Research, a short-selling organization, the stock prices of Adani’s companies experienced a sharp decline. (Refer to the article for more details.)
#25. Phil Knight & relatives
Net value: $45.1 Billion | Wealth Origin: Nike | Age: 85 | Nationality: United States
In the recent film AIR, which focuses on the successful acquisition of a young Michael Jordan by the brand, Ben Affleck takes on the role of a youthful Knight. As a result of challenges in the supply chain and the impact of Covid restrictions in China, Nike’s stocks experienced a slight decline of 3%. Nonetheless, Knight continues to enjoy substantial profits thanks to his 25% ownership in the shoe and clothing company. Over the past year alone, he has earned an impressive $400 million (before taxes), despite initially co-founding Nike in 1964 with a mere $500.