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Top 10 The Richest People on Earth 2022

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Billionaires play an out sized role in shaping the global economy, politics, and philanthropy. The wealthiest among them belong to an even more exclusive club and wield still more power. Many of these billionaires are founders of technology giants, with much of their wealth still invested in the companies they started

Below are the 10 wealthiest people on the planet as of the same date, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Top 10 Richest People in the World

S/NNameResidenceCo-founder or CEONet Worth
1Elon Musk TexasTesla$224 billion
2Jeff BezosWashingtonAmazon$144 billion
3Bernard ArnaultParis, FranceLVMH$136 billion
4Bill GatesWashingtonMicrosoft Corp$123 billion
5Warren BuffettNebraskaBerkshire Hathaway$114 billion
6Larry PageCaliforniaAlphabet$103 billion
7Sergey BrinCaliforniaAlphabet$99.1 billion
8Gautam AdaniGurgaon, IndiaAdani Group$98.1 billion
9Mukesh AmbaniMumbai, IndiaReliance Industries$96.0 billion
10Steve BallmerWashingtonLos Angeles Clippers$95.9 billion

1. Elon Musk

Top 10 The Richest People on Earth 2022

Elon Musk was born in South Africa and attended a university in Canada before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics. Two days after enrolling in a graduate physics program at Stanford University, Musk deferred attendance to launch Zip2, one of the earliest online navigation services. He reinvested a portion of the proceeds from this startup to create X.com, the online payment system that was sold to eBay Inc. (EBAY) and ultimately became PayPal Holdings Inc.

In 2004, Musk became a major funder of Tesla Motors (now Tesla), which led to his current position as CEO of the electric vehicle company. In addition to its line of electric automobiles, Tesla also produces energy storage devices, automobile accessories, and, through its acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, solar power systems. Musk is also CEO and chief engineer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a developer of space launch rockets.

In 2020, Tesla shares soared 740% to propel Musk up the wealth rankings. In December 2020, Tesla joined the S&P 500, becoming the largest company added. In January 2021, Musk became the richest person in the world (a title he’s held since).

2. Jeff Bezos

Top 10 The Richest People on Earth 2022

In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in a garage in Seattle, shortly after he resigned from the hedge fund giant D.E. Shaw. He had originally pitched the idea of an online bookstore to his former boss David E. Shaw, who wasn’t interested.

Though Amazon.com originally started out selling books, it has since morphed into a one-stop shop for everything under the sun and is arguably the world’s largest retailer. Amazon’s pattern of constant diversification is evident in some of its unexpected expansions, which include acquiring Whole Foods in 2017 and entering the pharmacy business the same year.

Bezos owned as much as 16% of Amazon in 2019 before transferring 4% to former wife MacKenzie Scott as part of the divorce proceedings. In 2020, Amazon’s share price jumped 76% on the heightened demand for online shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 5, 2021, Bezos stepped down as CEO of the e-commerce giant, becoming its executive chair.

3. Bernard Arnault

Top 10 The Richest People on Earth 2022

French national Bernard Arnault is the chair and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. LVMH owns brands including Louis Vuitton, Hennessey, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora.

Most of Arnault’s wealth comes from his massive stake in Christian Dior SE, the holding company that controls 41.3% of LVMH. His shares in Christian Dior SE, plus an additional 6.2% in LVMH, are held through his family-owned holding company, Groupe Familial Arnault.

An engineer by training, Arnault first showed his business acumen while working for his father’s construction firm, Ferret-Savinel, taking charge of the company in 1971. He converted Ferret-Savinel to a real estate company named Férinel Inc. in 1979.

4. Bill Gates

Top 10 The Richest People on Earth 2022

While attending Harvard University in 1975, Bill Gates went to work alongside his childhood friend Paul Allen to develop new software for the original microcomputers. Following this project’s success, Gates dropped out of Harvard during his junior year and went on to found Microsoft with Allen.

The largest software company in the world, Microsoft also produces its line of personal computers, publishes books through Microsoft Press, provides email services through its Exchange server, and sells video game systems and associated peripheral devices. Originally Microsoft’s chief software architect, Gates shifted to the role of board chair in 2008. He had joined Berkshire Hathaway’s board in 2004. He stepped down from both boards on March 13, 2020.

In 2000, Gates’ two philanthropic organizations—the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation—merged to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, still co-chaired by Gates and his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates. Through the foundation, they have spent billions to fight polio and malaria. The foundation pledged $50 million in 2014 to help fight Ebola. As of 2021, the foundation had spent more than $1.9 billion to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

5. Warren Buffett

Top 10 The Richest People on Earth 2022

The most famous living value investor, Warren Buffett filed his first tax return in 1944 at age 14, declaring earnings from his boyhood paper route. He first bought shares in a textile company called Berkshire Hathaway in 1962, becoming the majority shareholder by 1965. He expanded the company to insurance and other investments in 1967. Now Berkshire Hathaway is a $705 billion-dollar market cap company, with a single share of stock (Class A shares) trading at more than $481,000 as of May 5, 2022.

Widely known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Buffett is a buy-and-hold investor who built his fortune by acquiring undervalued companies. More recently, Berkshire Hathaway has invested in large, well-known companies. Its portfolio of wholly owned subsidiaries includes interests in insurance, energy distribution, and railroads as well as consumer products. Buffett is a noted Bitcoin skeptic.

Buffett has dedicated much of his wealth to philanthropy. Between 2006 and 2020, he gave away $41 billion—mostly to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and his children’s charities. Buffett launched the Giving Pledge alongside Bill Gates in 2010.

Buffett, 91 years old, still serves as CEO, but in 2021 he hinted at who might be his successor—Gregory Abel. Abel is the head of Berkshire’s non-insurance operations.

6. Larry Page

Top 10 The Richest People on Earth 2022

Like several tech billionaires on this list, Larry Page embarked on his path to fame and fortune in a college dorm room. While attending Stanford University in 1995, Page and his friend Sergey Brin came up with the idea of improving internet data extraction. The duo devised a new search engine technology they dubbed “Backrub,” named after its ability to analyze “backing links.” From there, Page and Brin went on to found Google in 1998, with Page serving as CEO of the company until 2001, and again between 2011 and 2019.

Google is the dominant internet search engine, accounting for more than 92% of global search requests. In 2006, the company purchased YouTube, the top platform for user-submitted videos. After acquiring Android, Inc. in 2005, Google released the Android mobile phone operating system in 2008.

He has also shown an interest in “flying car” companies, investing in both Kitty Hawk and Opener. Shares of Google soared almost 50% in 2021, moving Page and Brin up the billionaire list. Page’s net worth went from just below $52 billion in March 2020 to the current $105 billion.

7. Sergey Brin

Top 10 The Richest People on Earth 2022

Sergey Brin was born in Moscow, Russia, moving to the U.S. with his family as a 6-year-old in 1979. After co-founding Google with Larry Page in 1998, Brin became Google’s president of technology when Eric Schmidt took over as CEO in 2001. He held the same post at the Alphabet holding company after it was established in 2015, stepping down in 2019 when Sundar Pichai took over as CEO.

In addition to its dominant internet search engine, Google offers a suite of online tools and services known as Google Workspace, which includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and more. Google also offers a variety of electronic devices, including Pixel smartphones, computers, and tablets, Nest smart home devices, and Stadia gaming platform.

Brin spent much of 2019 focusing on X, Alphabet’s research laboratory responsible for innovative technologies like Waymo self-driving cars and Google Glass smart glasses. He has also donated millions of dollars to Parkinson’s disease research, partnering with The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

8. Gautam Adani

Gautam Adani, the founder of Adani Group, surpassed Mukesh Ambani in March 2022 as the richest person in Asia. Adani, via his ownership of Adani Group, owns major stakes in six key Indian companies, including a 75% stake in Adani Enterprises, Adani Power, and Adani Transmissions, as well as a 65% stake in Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone, 61% stake in Adani Green Energy, and 37% stake in Adani Total Gas.

The combined market cap of companies owned by the Adani Group is $174 billion (as of June 1, 2022). Adani entered the power generation market in 2009 with Adani Power. Adani created Adani Enterprises in 1988 to import and export commodities. In 1994, his company was granted approval to develop a harbor facility at Mundra Port, which is now the largest private port in India.

Adani dropped out of college and previously worked in the diamond trade. Now, Adani has the largest port operator, closely-held thermal coal producer, and coal trader in India. In 2020, he purchased a 74% stake in the second-busiest airport in India, Mumbai International Airport. The billionaire was kidnapped and held for ransom in 1997. Adani was also in Mumbai’s Taj hotel during the 2008 terrorist attack.

9. Mukesh Ambani

Top 10 The Richest People on Earth 2022

Dhirubhai Ambani opened his first textile mill in 1966; his company, Reliance Industries, was listed on the Mumbai stock exchange in 1977 and has since acquired a large and loyal following of shareholders.

Mukesh Ambani entered Stanford University in 1979 to pursue a master’s in business administration but left without that degree in 1981, returning to India to oversee Reliance’s expansion into petrochemicals, oil refining, and oil and gas drilling.

After Dhirubhai Ambani suffered a stroke and died in 2002, Mukesh Ambani assumed joint leadership of Reliance with his brother Anil. As the brothers fought for control, their mother brokered a 2005 settlement splitting the company, with Mukesh retaining the refining, petrochemicals, oil and gas, and textile operations while Anil’s group took charge of Reliance’s telecom, power, entertainment, and financial services assets.

The feuding continued until 2010 when the brothers settled a legal dispute over natural gas and dissolved the non-compete agreements included in the 2005 settlement. In 2013, Mukesh and Anil Ambani seemingly buried the hatchet with the first deal between subsidiaries of their respective companies, a $220 million pact to share a fiberoptic network.

Under Mukesh Ambani’s leadership, Reliance Industries has expanded into retail and telecommunications. Two Indian publications named him the world’s richest man in 2007.84 Ambani is a member of the board of the World Economic Forum.89 In 2010, he founded Reliance Foundation on behalf of his company to promote rural development, health, and education.

Ambani lives with his wife, three children, and mother in a 27-story Mumbai mansion he built. The building has three helipads and three floors of gardens. In 2020, Ambani announced a $66.7 million donation to the government’s COVID-19 fund after a video of him ringing a bell from the mansion’s balcony to thank healthcare workers prompted critics on social media to complain that he hadn’t provided enough aid in the pandemic.

10. Steve Ballmer

Top 10 The Richest People on Earth 2022

Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 after Bill Gates convinced him to drop out of Stanford University’s MBA program. He was Microsoft’s 30th employee. Ballmer went on to succeed Gates as Microsoft CEO in 2000. He held the position until stepping down in 2014. Ballmer oversaw Microsoft’s 2011 purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion.

Ballmer owns an estimated 4% of Microsoft, making him the software giant’s largest individual shareholder. In 2014, shortly after stepping down as Microsoft CEO, Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team for $2 billion.

Ballmer lived in the same dorm and on the same floor as Bill Gates while the two attended Harvard University. The “brotherly” relationship between the two became strained when Ballmer started pushing the tech company into hardware, such as the Surface tablet and the Windows mobile phone, during his tenure as CEO.

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