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Real-Time Billionaires List

Elon Musk

CEO, Tesla

$241.1B

$4.5B (1.83%)

Real Time Net Worth

as of 1/9/24

#1 in the world today

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Elon Musk; CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and owner of X, is the richest person and the richest man in the world with a net worth of $229 billion.
  • After Musk is Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH.
  • Other billionaires with some of the largest net worths include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison.
  • Eight of the top 10 billionaires made their fortunes in technology, with Arnault and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett being the exceptions.
  • Age: 52
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder and CEO: Tesla
  • Net Worth: $229 billion
  • Tesla Ownership Stake: 13% ($102 billion)
  • X Ownership Stake: 79% ($9.32 billion)
  • Other Assets: Space Exploration Technologies ($53.2 billion private asset), The Boring Company ($3.33 billion private asset)5
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Elon Musk is the richest man in the world. He 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 (EBAY) and ultimately became PayPal Holdings (PYPL).6

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 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.67

Elon Musk
Saul Martinez / Getty Images

In Dec. 2020, Tesla joined the S&P 500, becoming the largest company added, and in Jan. 2021, Musk became the richest person in the world—a title that has fluctuated alongside the value of Tesla.85

In April 2022, Musk began a campaign to take X private, which culminated in a $44 billion buyout. Musk planned to fund the deal with $21 billion of his own capital. In the run-up to the buyout announcement, Musk sold 9.6 million shares of Tesla, valued at roughly $8.5 billion.910

In July 2022, Musk decided to back out of the buyout. The company filed a lawsuit against Musk to force the buyout to go through. Musk countersued the company but then reversed course and declared he was willing to buy it after all. The deal officially closed in Oct. 2022, giving him a 79% stake in the company.1112

2. Bernard Arnault

  • Age: 74
  • Residence: France
  • CEO and Chair: LVMH (LVMUY)
  • Net Worth: $179 billion
  • Christian Dior Ownership Stake: 97.5% ($137 billion total)
  • Other Assets: Moelis & Company equity ($27.4 billion public asset) and $14.8 billion in cash13Bloomberg. “Bernard Arnault.”

French national Bernard Arnault is the chair and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. LVMH brands include Louis Vuitton, Hennessey, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora.14

Most of Arnault’s wealth comes from his massive stake in Christian Dior SE, the holding company that controls 41.4% 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.13

PHOTO BY MARTIN SCHOELLER FOR FORBES

About Elon Musk

  • Elon Musk cofounded six companies, including electric car maker Tesla, rocket producer SpaceX and tunneling startup Boring Company.
  • He owns about 21% of Tesla between stock and options, but has pledged more than half his shares as collateral for personal loans of up to $3.5 billion.
  • SpaceX, founded in 2002, is worth nearly $150 billion after a $750 million tender offer in June 2023; it nearly quintupled its value in four years.
  • Boring Company, which aims to defeat traffic, raised $675 million in April 2022 at a $5.7 billion valuation.
  • Twitter’s board agreed to sell the company to Musk for $44 billion in April 2022, after he disclosed a 9.1% stake and threatened a hostile takeover.
  • The deal closed in October 2022 after Musk tried to back out and Twitter sued. Musk owns an estimated 74% of the company, which is now called X.

Wealth History

HOVER TO REVEAL NET WORTH BY YEAR

In the 37th annual Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, the list included 2,640 billionaires with a total net wealth of $12.2 trillion, down 28 members and $500 billion from 2022. Over half of the list is less wealthy compared to the previous year, including Elon Musk, who fell from No. 1 to No. 2.[2] The list also marks for the first time a French citizen was in the top position as well as a non-American for the first time since 2013 when the Mexican Carlos Slim Helu was the world’s richest person. The list, like in 2022, counted 15 under 30 billionaires with the richest of them being Red Bull heir Mark Mateschitz with a net worth of $34.7 billion. The youngest of the lot were Clemente Del Vecchio, heir to the Luxottica fortune shared with his six siblings and stepmother, and Kim Jung-yang, whose fortune lies in Japanese-South Korean gaming giant Nexon, both under-20s.[10]

No.NameNet worth (USD)AgeNationalityPrimary source(s) of wealth
IncreaseBernard Arnault & family$211 billion Increase74 FranceLVMH
DecreaseElon Musk$180 billion Decrease51 United States/ South AfricaTeslaSpaceX
DecreaseJeff Bezos$114 billion Decrease59 United StatesAmazon
IncreaseLarry Ellison$107 billion Increase78 United StatesOracle Corporation
SteadyWarren Buffett$106 billion Decrease92 United StatesBerkshire Hathaway
DecreaseBill Gates$104 billion Decrease67 United StatesMicrosoft
IncreaseMichael Bloomberg$94.5 billion Increase81 United StatesBloomberg L.P.
IncreaseCarlos Slim & family$93 billion Increase83 MexicoTelmexAmérica MóvilGrupo Carso
IncreaseMukesh Ambani$83.4 billion Decrease65 IndiaReliance Industries
10 DecreaseSteve Ballmer$80.7 billion Decrease67 United StatesMicrosoft

Raza

Jeff Bezos

Chairman And Founder, Amazon

$173.5B

$2.1B (1.24%)

Real Time Net Worth

as of 1/9/24

#3 in the world today

PHOTO BY MICHAEL PRINCE/FORBES COLLECTION

About Jeff Bezos

  • Jeff Bezos founded e-commerce giant Amazon in 1994 out of his Seattle garage.
  • Bezos stepped down as CEO to become executive chairman in 2021. He owns a bit less than 10% of the company.
  • He and his wife MacKenzie divorced in 2019 after 25 years of marriage and he transferred a quarter of his then-16% Amazon stake to her.
  • Bezos donated more than $400 million worth of stock to nonprofits in 2022, though it’s unclear which organizations received those shares.
  • He owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace company developing rockets; he briefly flew to space in one in July 2021.
  • Bezos said in a November 2022 interview with CNN that he plans to give away the majority of his wealth in his lifetime, without disclosing specific details.

Wealth History

HOVER TO REVEAL NET WORTH BY YEAR

  • Age: 59
  • Residence: United States
  • Founder and Executive Chair: Amazon (AMZN)
  • Net Worth: $177 billion
  • Amazon Ownership Stake: 10% ($150 billion)
  • Other Assets: Blue Origin ($11.2 billion private asset), The Washington Post ($250 million private asset), Koru ($500 million private asset), and $14.8 billion in cash17

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.1819

Though Amazon originally started out selling books, it has since morphed into a one-stop shop for everything under the sun and is expected to overtake Walmart as the world’s largest retailer by 2024. 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.2021

Jeff Bezos
Alex Wong / Getty Images

Bezos originally took Amazon public in 1997 and went on to become the first man since Bill Gates in 1999 to achieve a net worth of more than $100 billion. Bezos’ other projects include aerospace company Blue Origin, The Washington Post (which he purchased in 2013), and the 10,000-year clock—also known as the Long Now.242526

On July 20, 2021, Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and Dutch student Oliver Daemen completed Blue Origin’s first successful crewed flight, reaching an altitude of more than 66 miles before landing safely. Bezos’ wealth peaked at $213 billion in the same month.1727

In 2023, he paid $500 million for the superyacht, Koru.17

  • Age: 68
  • Residence: United States
  • Co-founder: Microsoft (MSFT)
  • Net Worth: $141 billion
  • Microsoft Ownership Stake: 1.4% ($24.3 billion)
  • Other Assets: $67.6 billion in cash and billions over multiple other companies28

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 founded Microsoft with Allen.2930

The largest software company in the world, Microsoft, also produces a line of personal computers, provides email services through its exchange server, and sells video game systems and associated game devices. It has recently invested heavily in cloud services.313233

Bill Gates
Jack Taylor / Getty Images

Gates shifted from the company’s CEO to the role of board chair in 2008. He joined Berkshire Hathaway’s board in 2004. He stepped down from both boards on March 13, 2020.343536

Bill Gates has much of his net worth in Cascade Investment LLC. Cascade is a privately-held investment vehicle that owns a variety of stocks including Canadian National Railway (CNR), Deere (DE), and Republic Services (RSG), as well as private investments in real estate and energy.3728

nvinced 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.39

Mark Zuckerberg

Cofounder, Meta Platforms

$127B

$122M (0.10%)

Real Time Net Worth

as of 1/9/24

#5 in the world today

PHOTO BY MARTIN SCHOELLER FOR FORBES

About Mark Zuckerberg

  • Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at Harvard in 2004 at the age of 19 for students to match names with photos of classmates.
  • He took Facebook public in May 2012; he now owns about 13% of the company’s stock.
  • Facebook changed its name to Meta Platforms in November 2021 in a sign it was shifting the company’s focus to the metaverse.
  • In December 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to give away 99% of their Meta stake over their lifetimes.

Wealth History

HOVER TO REVEAL NET WORTH BY YEAR

5. Steve Ballmer

  • Age: 67
  • Residence: United States
  • Owner: Los Angeles Clippers
  • Net Worth: $131 billion
  • Microsoft Ownership Stake: 4% ($120 billion total)
  • Other Assets: Los Angeles Clippers ($4.56 billion private asset), The Forum ($400 million private asset), Intuit Dome ($2 billion private asset), $3.75 billion in cash38
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