- Jeff Bezos tops Forbes billionaires list despite losing money in divorce followed by Bill Gates and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault.
Not even a divorce of nearly $40bn will stop Amazon (AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos from becoming the richest person in the world.
Jeff Bezos secured the top spot on Forbes Billionaires List for the third year in a row. His net worth plummeted last year to $113 billion from $18 billion, according to Forbes, partly because of his high-profile divorce from MacKenzie Bezos. Last year, Amazon’s stock rose 15 percent, helping offset some of the declines.
MacKenzie Bezos also made her first appearance on the chart, thanks to a divorce settlement worth $38 billion. She got 25 percent of Amazon stock from the couple as part of the settlement. Now she ranks 22nd on the Forbes list.
Forbes announced Tuesday the 34th edition of the list. The list takes into account some of the coronavirus pandemics that has thrown global markets into turmoil in recent months. 226 people lost their billionaire status in the first half of March and there are 58 fewer billionaires compared with last year’s same time. Forbes numbered a total of 2.095 billionaires. “From the remaining billionaires, 51 percent are poorer than they were last year. Roughly speaking, the world’s billionaires are worth $8 trillion, down from 2019 on $700 billion,” Forbes said.
Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates ranks second with a fortune of $98 billion, a rise of $1.5 billion. With a wealth of $76 billion, Bernard Arnault, chairman, and CEO of luxury magnate LVMH (LVMHF) nudged Warren Buffett in the third position. Buffet’s fortune landed in fourth place, at $67.5 billion. Walmart (WMT) heir Alice Walton continues to be the world’s richest woman. At $54.4 billion, she is in ninth place.
In dollar terms, the biggest gainer is Qin Yinglin, the richest pig breeder in the world. He’s ranked No. 43 and is worth $18.5 billion — a $14.2 billion leap since the 2019 list after shares of his Shenzhen-listed Muyuan Foods nearly tripled as the African swine flu reduced pig supply and fell price.
In addition to MacKenzie Bezos, there are 177 other fresh faces that first grace the list. Eric Yuan, Zoom’s founder and CEO (ZM), places $5.5 billion in number 293. When the teleconference program started to be widely used by people working from home during the pandemic, the stock of His business blew up.
Another newcomer: Mark Anthony Brands CEO Anthony von Mandl. His company created White Claw, the top-selling hard-seltzer drink in the world, which has become a trend for people craving a guilt-free boozy drink. Through Forbes ‘estimates, he’s worth an estimated $3.3 billion and sits at spot number 590.