Top 10 Billionaires in the world 2018
#10 Larry Ellison ($58.5 B)
- Larry Ellison co-founded software firm Oracle in 1977 to tap into the growing need for customer relationship management databases.
- He gave up the Oracle CEO role in 2014 but still serves as chairman of the board and chief technology officer.
- As part of Oracle’s push into cloud computing, it acquired cloud-software firm Netsuite for $9.3 billion in 2016.
- Oracle moved into hardware with its 2010 acquisition of Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion.
- In 2016, Ellison pledged to give $200 million to the University of Southern California for a cancer treatment centre.
#8 Charles Koch ($60 B )
- Charles Koch has been chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, America’s second-largest private company, since 1967.
- The conglomerate has $100 billion in revenues from businesses including pipelines, chemicals,
- Dixie cups, Brawny paper towels and Stainmaster carpets.
- His father, Fred Koch, started the business in 1940 and improved a method of refining heavy oil into gasoline.
- The Kansas native owns a 42% stake in the firm, as does his brother, David; they bought their two other brothers’ shares in 1983.
- Koch has funded a number of think tanks, including the libertarian Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.
#8 David Koch ($60 B)
- David Koch shares majority control of Koch Industries, U.S’s second largest private firm, with his brother Charles.
- The Kansas native lives in New York City, and oversees Koch’s chemical technology group.
- Koch Industries, which has revenues of $100 billion, operates pipelines, produces fertilizer and makes Dixie cups and Quilted Northern toilet paper.
- A well-known philanthropist, David is a donor to New York’s Lincoln Center and Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
- David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential candidate in 1980 on a ticket with Ed Clark; they won 1% of the vote.
#7 Carlos Slim Helu & family ($67.1 B)
- 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.
#6 Amancio Ortega ($70 B)
- Amancio Ortega is one of the richest men in Europe and the wealthiest retailer in the world.
- A pioneer in fast fashion, he co-founded 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.
#5 Mark Zuckerberg ($71 B)
- Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, has seen his net worth soar as the social network’s stock price has skyrocketed.
- A Harvard dropout, he founded Facebook in 2004 at the age of 19.
- Zuckerberg started Facebook at Harvard for students to match names with faces in class.
- He took Facebook public in May 2012 and still owns nearly 17% of the stock.
- Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook stake over their lifetimes.
#4 Bernard Arnault & family ($72 B)
- One of the world’s ultimate taste-makers, Bernard Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
- Record results at LVMH and a megadeal to buy out nearly all of Christian Dior helped boost Arnault’s fortune by $30.5 billion in one year.
- Arts patron is the visionary behind the $135 million Frank Gehry-designed Foundation Louis Vuitton museum in Paris’ Bois de Boulogne, opened in 2014.
#3 Warren Buffett ($84 B)
- Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time.
- He 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 committed to giving more than 99% of his fortune to charity. So far he has given nearly $32 billion.
- With friend Bill Gates he launched The Giving Pledge in 2010, asking billionaires to donate half their wealth to charitable causes.
#2 Bill Gates ($90 B)
- With his wife Melinda, Bill Gates chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable foundation.
- The foundation works to save lives and improve global health and is working with Rotary International to eliminate polio.
- 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.
- He remains a board member of Microsoft, the software firm he founded with Paul Allen in 1975.
In late 2016, Gates announced the launch of a $1 billion Breakthrough Energy investment fund with about 20 other people.
#1 Jeff Bezos ($112 B)
- Amazon’s chief Jeff Bezos is the first person to top $100 billion as number one on the Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires.
- He owns 16% of e-commerce colossus Amazon, which he founded in a garage in Seattle in 1994.
- Bezos attended Princeton and worked at a hedge fund before quitting to sell books online.
- His other passion is space travel: His aerospace company, Blue Origin, is developing a reusable rocket that Bezos says will carry passengers.
- Bezos purchased The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million.