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World’s Richest People (Top Billionaires 2024)

World’s Richest People (Top Billionaires 2024)

by Jaya Pathak

As we step into 2024, the financial landscape of the world’s wealthiest individuals continues to evolve, with noteworthy shifts observed among the top billionaires.

The latest data reveals that seven out of the top 10 billionaires have seen a surge in their fortunes over December 2023, collectively witnessing a $30 billion increase. Notably, the most significant gainer during this period is Mark Zuckerberg, ascending from the 7th to the 5th position globally, surpassing even the long-standing leader, Bill Gates.

The meticulous updates of the net worth of these influential figures on a daily basis can be tracked. The fortunes of many billionaires are closely tied to the fluctuations in the stock prices of the companies they founded or co-founded, resulting in dynamic changes in their overall wealth.

As of January 1, 2024, the cumulative net worth of the world’s top 10 richest individuals stands at a staggering $1.47 trillion, marking a notable increase from the previous month.

Here’s presenting the list of the top 10 wealthiest billionaires of 2024: –

01. Elon Musk:-

Elon Musk maintains his status as the world’s wealthiest person, boasting a net worth of $251 billion, primarily attributed to his roles as the CEO of Tesla and owner of stakes in SpaceX and the social media company X. Bernard Arnault, the French luxury magnate, holds the second position with an estimated net worth of $200.7 billion, showcasing the dynamism within the upper echelons of global wealth.

These billionaires’ fortunes remain intricately linked to the stock market performance of their respective companies, contributing to the perpetual ebb and flow of their financial standings.

Elon Musk, a formidable figure in the tech and business landscape, holds the coveted position of the world’s wealthiest person with a staggering net worth of $251.3 billion. At 52 years old, Musk is the CEO of the electric car giant Tesla, rocket company SpaceX, and the social media entity X, formerly known as Twitter.

With a residence in Austin, Texas, and U.S. citizenship, Musk’s fortune is intricately tied to the success of Tesla, where he owns 23% of the company’s stock and options. Interestingly, he also ventured into the social media sphere by acquiring X for $44 billion in October 2022. Despite facing a decline in X’s value post-acquisition, Musk still commands an estimated 74% ownership of the platform.

Originally from South Africa, Musk’s journey saw him move to Canada before the age of 18. His academic pursuits took him to Queen’s University in Ontario and later to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Musk’s entrepreneurial prowess became evident in 2000 when he co-founded X.com, an online bank, which merged with Peter Thiel’s similar venture to create PayPal, eventually bought by eBay in 2002 for $1.4 billion. In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX in El Segundo, and in 2004, he joined Tesla as an investor and chairman, later assuming the role of CEO in 2008.

Tesla’s market capitalization witnessed remarkable growth in 2020 and 2021, propelling Musk to the status of the world’s richest person in September 2021, with his fortune peaking at $320 billion in November 2021. Despite fluctuations, Musk’s financial ascent continues, with his fortune rising by approximately $6 billion in December 2023, buoyed by a 4% surge in Tesla’s share price.

02. Bernard Arnault:-

Bernard Arnault, a titan in the realm of luxury goods, holds the esteemed position of the second wealthiest person globally with a substantial net worth of $200.7 billion at the age of 74.

As the CEO and chairman of LVMH, Arnault has masterfully cultivated the largest luxury goods conglomerate, boasting around 70 illustrious fashion and cosmetics brands, including iconic names like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Moet & Chandon, and Sephora. Arnault’s journey into the world of luxury began with a strategic move, utilizing $15 million from his father’s construction fortune to acquire Christian Dior.

Arnault’s influence extends to the next generation, with all five of his children actively involved in various facets of the LVMH empire. In a significant move in January 2023, Arnault appointed his daughter Delphine to oversee Dior, the second-largest brand within the LVMH portfolio.

While Arnault relinquished his title as the world’s richest person on June 8, 2023, falling to the second position, his fortune has continued to ascend. As of January 1, 2024, a notable increase of $9.4 billion in Arnault’s net worth is estimated as compared to the previous month, propelled by a surge in the price of LVMH shares. Arnault’s enduring legacy and financial prowess in the luxury sector mark him as a key player on the global billionaire stage.

03. Jeff Bezos:-

Jeff Bezos, a visionary entrepreneur and the founder of the e-commerce behemoth Amazon, holds a substantial net worth of $168.4 billion at the age of 59. Bezos, who created Amazon in 1994 and served as its CEO until July 2021 (currently holding the position of chairman), experienced a notable uptick in his fortune during December 2023, amounting to $5.8 billion, primarily attributed to the rise in Amazon shares.

Prior to venturing into the world of online retail, Bezos worked at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw in New York. Amazon’s inception as an online bookseller marked a revolutionary moment in e-commerce when online shopping was in its infancy. Over the years, Amazon expanded its footprint to dominate cloud storage and ventured into the production of movies and series, catering to the audience of Amazon Prime Video.

Bezos’s trajectory to becoming the world’s richest person commenced in July 2017 when he surpassed Bill Gates. This dynamic interplay continued, with Bezos holding the title on Forbes’ list of the World’s Billionaires from 2018 through 2021. Following a brief dip to the second-richest position in 2022, Bezos navigated his way back to the top three, securing the third spot on January 25, 2023.

Notably, Bezos’s personal life underwent a significant change in 2019 when he and his then-wife MacKenzie divorced. The settlement granted MacKenzie 4% of Amazon’s shares, while Bezos retained 12%. Bezos, through his Bezos Expeditions, has diversified his investments in various companies, including prominent names like Airbnb and the software firm Workday. His entrepreneurial journey, coupled with strategic investments and innovations, has solidified Bezos’s enduring impact on the global business landscape.

04. Larry Ellison:-

Larry Ellison, a prominent figure in the technology industry, boasts a substantial net worth of $135.3 billion at the age of 79. As a co-founder of the software giant Oracle in 1977, Ellison held the position of CEO until 2014 and currently assumes the roles of chairman and Chief Technology Officer. Oracle, under Ellison’s leadership, has undertaken significant acquisitions, with the noteworthy purchase of Sun Microsystems in 2010 for a staggering $7.4 billion.

Beyond his contributions to the tech realm, Ellison made headlines in 2012 by acquiring the Hawaiian island of Lanai for $300 million. While he shifted his residence to Lanai in 2020, Ellison maintained homes in California and Nevada. Notably, Ellison diversified his investment portfolio by engaging with Tesla, serving on the board of the car company from 2018 until August 2022.

In June 2023, Ellison briefly surpassed Jeff Bezos as the third-richest person globally, driven by an upswing in Oracle’s share price. However, subsequent market fluctuations saw him settle back into the fourth position. During December 2023, Ellison encountered a financial setback as Oracle shares experienced a 10% decline, leading to a reduction of $11.2 billion in his overall fortune. Ellison’s influence in the technology sector, coupled with strategic investments and acquisitions, continues to shape his legacy in the dynamic landscape of corporate innovation.

05. Mark Zuckerberg:-

Mark Zuckerberg, a tech titan and the CEO of Meta Platforms, holds a substantial net worth of $125.3 billion at the age of 39. Zuckerberg’s journey in the tech realm began when he co-founded Facebook, originally known as Meta, during his time as a Harvard University student in 2004. Over the years, Facebook has evolved into the world’s largest social network, boasting a staggering 3.88 billion monthly users.

Under Zuckerberg’s leadership, Meta expanded its influence by acquiring and significantly growing platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp. As the current CEO of Meta, Zuckerberg remains a key figure in steering the company’s trajectory. In 2012, he took Meta public and retains ownership of about 13% of the company. Zuckerberg, along with his wife Priscilla Chan, is committed to philanthropy, pledging 99% of their Meta stock toward initiatives that advance human potential.

Their philanthropic endeavors include ambitious goals, such as supporting the development of tools to address and prevent diseases by the end of the century. In the summer of 2023, Zuckerberg reclaimed a position among the world’s top 10 richest individuals, marking his return since January 2022, driven by the rising value of Meta’s stock. Notably, in December 2023, Zuckerberg’s fortune increased by $9.4 billion, paralleling a 9% surge in Meta’s stock.

06. Bill Gates:-

Bill Gates, a tech pioneer and philanthropist, boasts a substantial net worth of $119.6 billion at the age of 68. Gates’ fascination with computer programming ignited during his teenage years, prompting him to drop out of Harvard and co-found Microsoft with his high school friend Paul Allen in 1975.

This venture marked a milestone in the nascent personal computer industry, creating one of the earliest software programs. Gates served as CEO of Microsoft for 25 years and retained his position as chairman until 2014. Despite stepping off the board in 2020, he remains engaged, spending approximately 10% of his time consulting with Microsoft teams.

Gates has diversified his portfolio with investments in numerous companies, including Republic Services and Deere & Co. Additionally, he holds a significant stake in U.S. farmland, solidifying his status as one of the largest landowners. He held the title of the world’s richest person from 1995 through 2017 (except for 2008 and 2010-2013). A notable contributor to his wealth’s redistribution is his staggering $59 billion in donations to the Gates Foundation, with a substantial $20 billion gift in July 2022.

In 2018, Jeff Bezos surpassed Gates as the world’s richest person, attributed largely to Gates’ philanthropic endeavors. Following his divorce from Melinda French Gates in 2021, which included an estimated $10 billion settlement, Gates’ fortune experienced a $2 billion growth in December 2023, maintaining his position as the sixth richest person globally as of January 1.

07. Warren Buffett:-

Warren Buffett, often hailed as the “Oracle of Omaha,” stands as one of history’s most accomplished investors, boasting a net worth of $118.6 billion at the age of 93. As the driving force behind the investing conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett holds sway over a diverse portfolio, including iconic entities like Geico, Duracell, and Dairy Queen. Buffett’s journey into investing began early, purchasing his first stock at the tender age of 11 and navigating tax filings at just 13.

Notably, he co-founded the Giving Pledge in 2010 alongside Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, urging billionaires to dedicate at least half their wealth to charitable causes. Exemplifying his commitment, Buffett has pledged to donate 99% of his fortune, translating to over $51.5 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock directed to the Gates Foundation and his children’s foundations.

Widely recognized as the most generous billionaire globally, Buffett’s philanthropic endeavours underscore his dedication to making a positive impact. In a mid-June gesture, he magnanimously bestowed $4.6 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares. Despite a marginal dip in the price of Berkshire Hathaway shares, witnessing a $700 million decrease in December 2023, Buffett’s legacy as a financial luminary and philanthropist remains firmly intact.

08. Larry Page:-

Larry Page, aged 50, commands a net worth of $117.2 billion, primarily amassed through his pivotal role in co-founding the revolutionary search engine Google in 1998 alongside Sergey Brin, a fellow Stanford PhD student. Notably, Page assumed the position of CEO during the company’s early years, serving from 1998 to 2001 and later resuming the role from 2011 to 2015.

Currently, he fulfills the responsibilities of a board member within Alphabet, Google’s parent company, maintaining a significant controlling stake. Beyond his contributions to the tech realm, Page ventured into strategic investments, showcasing his role as a founding investor in Planetary Resources, a groundbreaking asteroid mining company later acquired by ConsenSys in 2018. Page’s ascent into the ranks of the world’s top 10 richest individuals was propelled by a noteworthy 15% surge in Alphabet’s share price in May 2023.

Reflecting the dynamism of the market, his fortune experienced a commendable uptick of approximately $5.5 billion between December 1, 2023, and January 1, 2024, with Alphabet’s shares exhibiting a nearly 6% climb during this period. Larry Page’s enduring influence in the tech and investment spheres underscores his ability to navigate and capitalize on emerging trends, contributing substantially to his formidable financial standing.

09. Sergey Brin:-

Sergey Brin, aged 50, boasts a substantial net worth of $112.4 billion, primarily derived from his pivotal role as a co-founder of Google in 1998 alongside Larry Page. Despite stepping down as the president of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in December 2019, Brin retains influential positions as a controlling shareholder and board member. His journey to prominence began after emigrating from Russia to the U.S.

The significance of Brin’s contributions to the tech landscape is underscored by his instrumental role in the establishment of Google, marking a transformative moment in the evolution of online search and information retrieval. Throughout December 2023, Brin’s fortune experienced a notable increase of an estimated $5.1 billion, propelled by an almost 6% surge in the price of Alphabet shares. Beyond his entrepreneurial pursuits, Brin has demonstrated a commitment to philanthropy, particularly in the realm of medical research.

Having publicly disclosed an elevated risk of Parkinson’s disease more than a dozen years ago, he has dedicated over $1.1 billion to advance research initiatives focused on understanding and combating this neurodegenerative condition. Sergey Brin’s multifaceted contributions, from reshaping the digital landscape to impactful philanthropy, underscore his enduring influence on technology and health research.

10. Steve Ballmer:-

Steve Ballmer, aged 67, commands a substantial net worth of $112.2 billion, primarily amassed through his profound association with Microsoft. Joining the tech giant as its 30th employee in 1980, Ballmer emerged as a vital contributor alongside his Harvard classmate Bill Gates. His trajectory at Microsoft culminated in a leadership role as the CEO from 2000 to 2014, where he steered the company through dynamic periods of growth and transformation.

Post his tenure at Microsoft, Ballmer ventured into sports ownership, making headlines with the acquisition of the Los Angeles Clippers for a staggering $2 billion—an unprecedented record in NBA team transactions at that time. The presently evaluation of the Clippers’ worth at an impressive $4.65 billion. Despite a recent dip of approximately $600 million in Ballmer’s fortune, attributed to a marginal drop of less than 1% in Microsoft’s share price, his enduring impact on the tech industry and foray into sports ownership underscore the multifaceted dimensions of his entrepreneurial journey.

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