Born in South Africa on June 28, 1971, Elon Musk displayed early computer skills, crafting a video game at 12. He moved to Canada at 17, studying physics and business in the U.S. Musk co-founded PayPal and established SpaceX and Tesla, reflecting intelligence and ambition. He turned a house into a nightclub, showcasing creativity shaping U.S. technology and space exploration.
In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX to cut space travel costs with Falcon rockets, creating Dragon for the space station and Starship for other planets. After PayPal’s challenges, he launched SpaceX for Mars and Tesla for electric cars. The Boring Company and Neuralink followed, embracing risks. With ample Tesla and SpaceX stock, he’s now the world’s richest, unafraid of challenges.
Tesla, formed in 2004 due to Musk’s electric car passion, introduced hit models like Roadster, Model S, X, and the sought-after Model 3. In 2013, he proposed the Hyperloop for fast travel. Elon Musk amassed immense wealth, primarily from Tesla, becoming the world’s richest in nine years.
Joining Twitter in 2009, Elon Musk acquired the widely-used social platform in 2022. In 2023, he rebranded it as ‘X’.
Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company, no longer holds the title of the world’s richest person. His net worth, estimated at $230 billion, still places him among the wealthiest. Born in 1949, he developed a passion for luxury due to his mother’s interest in Dior. Working in his father’s real estate business, he transformed it into Ferinel.
In the 1980s, Arnault acquired Financiere Agache and Boussac Saint-Freres, including Christian Dior, implementing tough measures to restore profitability. Co-founding LVMH in 1987, he acquired shares and control, expanding via acquisitions like Celine, Guerlain, and Berluti.
Arnault’s influence extends to art collection, owning pieces by renowned artists. He supports initiatives like the LVMH Young Fashion Designer competition and the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
As ‘the pope of fashion’ and ‘wolf-in-cashmere,’ Arnault shaped LVMH into a luxury powerhouse with over 75 brands. Starting in real estate, revitalizing Dior, and leading LVMH’s expansion, his family’s Christian Dior stake also impacts LVMH. His net worth is $193 billion, ranking him the world’s second-richest person.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, former CEO, and current executive chair, ranks third globally with around $139 billion as of May 2023. Amazon initially sold books but diversified into varied online sales, shaping U.S. shopping habits significantly.
Bezos, known for investments like the 165,000-acre Corn Ranch for Blue Origin, owns multimillion-dollar homes in Beverly Hills and Manhattan. He donates to the Bezos Family Foundation, a Seattle museum, and Princeton University. Funding tech firms, media production, and transportation projects, Blue Origin, founded by him, accomplished its first crewed flight in 2021. His wealth results from adeptly handling complex tasks, emphasizing customer convenience, and enhancing online shopping.
Bezos’ focus on customer simplicity differentiates him, propelling Amazon’s growth. He addressed challenges for a broad consumer base, amassing wealth by enhancing convenience. His triumph emerges from resolving customer issues and streamlining processes, offering entrepreneurs lessons in prioritizing customer satisfaction.
Larry Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder, was pivotal in transforming tech through pioneering database software and business apps. While he stepped down as CEO, he was board chairman and CTO.
His journey started with an investment in Software Development Laboratories, later Oracle. He seized opportunities like a CIA contract and Oracle’s first commercial relational database in 1979. Innovations, including Oracle 7, navigated challenges.
Vision extended to internet platforms, boosting Oracle in the dot-com boom. Investments span Oracle, Tesla, real estate, and sports.
Extensive real estate spans California to Japan, with sports ventures like Oracle Team USA. Luxuries like yachts, planes, and cars highlight diverse interests.
Ellison’s story underscores ambition, hard work, and astute investments. From modest beginnings, he amassed wealth, inspiring aspiring entrepreneurs pursuing dreams.
Bill Gates, among the world’s richest with a net worth of about $122 billion, strategically manages his wealth. His Cascade Investment LLC oversees a significant portion, investing in diverse ventures like Branded Entertainment Network and TerraPower, focused on advanced nuclear reactors.
Through Gates Ventures, he allocates funds to vital sectors like clean energy, education, healthcare, and poverty alleviation. He retains substantial ownership of Microsoft, the company he founded, valued at around $20 billion.
Real estate interests include Xanadu 2.0, a high-tech mansion, alongside other properties; an island in Belize is also possible. Gates enjoys luxury cars, private jets, and collecting rare items such as manuscripts and art.
However, his most notable endeavor is philanthropy. He established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, channeling billions worldwide for significant causes. This commitment stands as his paramount legacy, striving to improve the world.
Warren Buffett, known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” is a highly influential and wealthy figure in American business. He’s the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns over 60 companies, including Geico, Duracell, and Dairy Queen.
Buffett’s investment strategy focuses on undervalued companies with strong fundamentals. He considers performance, debt, and profit margins, holding investments for years. He’s famed for successful stock picks, making much of his wealth this way.
From a young age, Buffett made smart investment decisions. He invested in GEICO and Coca-Cola, reaping significant returns. He’s navigated challenges like the 1987 stock market crash.
Buffett is known for both investing and philanthropy. He pledged 85% of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, co-founding The Giving Pledge with Bill Gates.
He named Greg Abel as his potential successor at Berkshire Hathaway in 2021 but has no immediate retirement plans. Overall, Buffett’s journey, from early investments to a vast conglomerate and philanthropic dedication, cements his legendary status in business.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook (Meta) CEO, ranks among the world’s wealthiest. His net worth, once over $100 billion, has significantly decreased. Despite riches, he favors casual attire, like pricey jeans and t-shirts.
Zuckerberg’s wealth comes from his Meta stake, which he co-founded. His $1 salary is famous. While practical cars like the Acura TSX and Honda Fit are typical, he owns a valuable Pagani Huayra.
Real estate is a major expense. Properties span Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Hawaii. The portfolio includes a $7 million Palo Alto home, Hawaii properties worth $100 million, and Lake Tahoe acquisitions at $59 million. The company covers travel security.
Despite their wealth, Zuckerberg’s focus is philanthropy. He signed the Giving Pledge, showing commitment to donate most. With his wife, Priscilla Chan, he launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) for education, disease research, and community advancement. CZI gives billions in grants, funds research, and addresses global challenges. Amid net worth fluctuations, his dedication to charity remains strong.
Larry Page is the co-founder of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, headquartered in Mountain View, California. Alphabet reported substantial revenue in 2022 and offers various services. Page’s primary wealth source is his ownership stake in Alphabet, including Class B and C shares. His Class B shares can convert to publicly traded shares at a one-to-one ratio. He also holds a significant number of publicly traded Alphabet Class C shares.
Over time, Page has sold Alphabet and Google shares, contributing to his net worth. He focuses on investing in venture funds and clean technology, aligning with co-founder Sergey Brin’s investment approach.
Page studied computer science at the University of Michigan and Stanford University. His collaboration with Brin at Stanford led to the creation of Google, initially funded by investor Andy Bechtolsheim. Initially, co-presidents Page and Brin hired CEO Eric Schmidt. Google’s growth led to expansion into domains like the Android O.S.
In 2011, Page became Google’s CEO to enhance agility, later taking on Alphabet’s CEO role, overseeing Google and its subsidiaries. He is also known for his early investment in Tesla and advocacy for clean technology.
Brin co-founded Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and generated $283 billion in revenue in 2022. His wealth comes mostly from his stake in Alphabet, amounting to around 6% of the company. His ownership includes Class B and Class C shares. He also holds approximately 367 million publicly traded Class C shares.
Since Google’s 2004 IPO, Brin has sold over $10 billion worth of shares. His net worth considers share sales, market performance, donations, taxes, venture funds, and clean technology investments.
Brin escaped the Soviet Union, studied mathematics and computer science at the University of Maryland, and furthered his education at Stanford, where he met Larry Page. They launched Google in 1998.
In 2011, Brin transitioned to director of special projects at Alphabet, including a robotics lab. He oversees Google and other ventures. Brin also holds ownership stakes in Tesla and 23andMe, a genome-mapping company.
Steve Ballmer, born on March 24, 1956, in Detroit, Michigan, is a prominent figure known for his association with Microsoft and his significant net worth. He pursued higher education at Lawrence Technological University and Harvard University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in applied mathematics and economics.
His professional journey began at Procter & Gamble, followed by pursuing an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business. However, he decided to join Microsoft, where he played various roles and eventually became the CEO. During his time as CEO, Ballmer oversaw the company’s finances and operations, leading to substantial acquisitions and increased revenue.
While at Microsoft, Ballmer was involved in diverse ventures and made notable investments. He also acquired the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, including The Forum arena, and showed interest in companies like Twitter.
Ballmer’s path to wealth highlights his continuous pursuit of business opportunities and strategic investments.