The title of “richest person in the world” is a coveted and ever-changing position, with individuals vying for the top spot based on their wealth and business acumen. These individuals are known for their entrepreneurial spirit, strategic investments, and ability to accumulate vast wealth through their various ventures and companies. Whether it’s through the tech industry, retail, real estate, or other sectors, these individuals have left a lasting impact on the global economy and serve as inspiration for those aspiring to achieve similar success. In this post, get the top 30 richest people in the world in 2023 (as per Forbes) list.
Top 30 Richest People in The World 2023
- Bernard Arnault ($223.2 B)
- Elon Musk ($184.2 B)
- Jeff Bezos ($126.5 B)
- Larry Ellison ($114.0 B)
- Warren Buffett ($107.1 B)
- Bill Gates ($105.2 B)
- Carlos Slim Helu ($90.2 B)
- Larry Page ($90.2 B)
- Sergey Brin ($86.4 B)
- Francoise Bettencourt Meyers ($84.0 B)
- Steve Ballmer ($84.0 B)
- Mukesh Ambani ($82.7 B)
- Amancio Ortega ($78.9 B)
- Michael Bloomberg ($76.8 B)
- Zhong Shanshan ($69.3 B)
- Mark Zuckerberg ($66.8 B)
- Gautam Adani ($61.7 B)
- Jim Walton ($60.8 B)
- Rob Walton ($59.5 B)
- Julia Koch ($59.2 B)
- Charles Koch ($59.2 B)
- Alice Walton ($58.6 B)
- David Thomson ($54.5 B)
- Michael Dell ($52.9 B)
- Zhang Yiming ($49.5 B)
- Phil Knight ($48.3 B)
- François Pinault ($42.5 B)
- Rodolphe Saadé ($41.4 B)
- Ma Huateng ($40.8 B)
- Li Ka-shing ($39.2 B)
1. Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault is the chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate.
Bernard Arnault manages the vast LVMH portfolio, comprising over 70 fashion and cosmetic brands such as Louis Vuitton and Sephora. In 2021, LVMH acquired Tiffany & Co. for a record $15.8 billion. In 2019, LVMH invested $3.2 billion in the luxury hospitality group Belmond, which operates 46 hotels, trains, and river cruises. Arnault got his start by investing $15 million from his father’s construction business into the purchase of Christian Dior in 1985. Four of Arnault’s five children are involved in various parts of the LVMH empire: Frédéric, Delphine, Antoine, and Alexandre.
2. Elon Musk
|$184.2 B||51||United States||Tesla, SpaceX|
Elon Musk has co-founded six companies, including electric car maker Tesla, rocket manufacturer SpaceX, and tunneling company Boring Company. He holds approximately 25% of Tesla through stock and options, however, he has used more than half of his shares as collateral for loans. SpaceX, established in 2002, has a worth of $127 billion following a funding round in May 2022 and has quadrupled in value in three years. Boring Company, which aims to solve traffic issues, raised $675 million in April 2022 and was valued at $5.7 billion. In April 2022, Twitter’s board agreed to sell the company to Musk after he revealed a 9.1% stake and threatened a hostile takeover. The sale was completed in October 2022 despite Musk’s attempt to back out, which led to a lawsuit by Twitter. Currently, Musk is estimated to own 74% of Twitter.
3. Jeff Bezos
|$126.5 B||59||United States||Amazon|
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, the e-commerce giant, in 1994 from his garage in Seattle. In July 2021, he stepped down as CEO and became Executive Chairman. He now owns slightly less than 10% of the company. In 2019, he and his wife MacKenzie divorced and he transferred a quarter of his then-16% Amazon stake to her. In 2022, Bezos donated over $400 million in stock to non-profits, but the recipients of these shares are not disclosed. Additionally, Bezos owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace company focused on rocket development. He even took a brief trip to space in one of Blue Origin’s rockets in July 2021. In a CNN interview in November 2022, Bezos stated that he plans to give away the majority of his wealth during his lifetime, but did not provide specific details.
4. Larry Ellison
|$114.0 B||78||United States||Oracle|
Larry Ellison is the Chairman, CTO, and co-founder of software giant Oracle, in which he holds approximately 35% ownership. After serving as CEO for 37 years, he stepped down from the role in 2014. Oracle’s growth has been driven, in part, by its steady acquisition of software companies, with the largest being its $28.3 billion purchase of electronic health records company Cerner in 2021. In 2020, Ellison made the Hawaiian island of Lanai, which he had purchased nearly in its entirety for $300 million in 2012, his permanent residence. Ellison served on Tesla’s board from December 2018 to August 2022 and continues to hold about 15 million shares in the electric vehicle manufacturer.
5. Warren Buffett
|$107.1 B||92||United States||Berkshire Hathaway|
Warren Buffett, known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” is a renowned investor widely considered one of the most successful of all time. He runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns several companies including Geico, Duracell, and Dairy Queen. Buffett, the son of a US congressman, started investing in stocks at age 11 and filed his first tax return at 13. He has pledged to give away over 99% of his wealth, having already donated more than $49 billion, mostly to the Gates Foundation and his children’s foundations. In 2010, he and Bill Gates established the Giving Pledge, inviting billionaires to commit to giving at least half of their wealth to charitable causes.
6. Bill Gates
|$105.2 B||67||United States||Microsoft|
Bill Gates transformed his wealth from Microsoft into a diverse portfolio, including investments in clean energy. In May 2021, both he and his wife Melinda announced their divorce on Twitter after 27 years of marriage. They continue to co-chair the Gates Foundation. As part of the divorce settlement, Gates transferred at least $6 billion in shares of public companies to Melinda. As of March 2020, when he stepped down from the Microsoft board, Gates owned approximately 1.3% of the company’s shares. He has invested in numerous companies including Republic Services and Deere & Co., and is among the largest landowners of farmland in the US. To date, he has donated over $59 billion to the Gates Foundation, including a $20 billion gift announced in July 2022, much of which came from early gifts of Microsoft stock.
7. Carlos Slim Helu
Carlos Slim Helu, Mexico’s wealthiest individual, and his family control América Móvil, the largest mobile telecom company in Latin America. They acquired a stake in Telmex, Mexico’s sole phone company, through a partnership with foreign telecom companies in 1990 and it is now part of América Móvil. Slim also holds shares in Mexican companies involved in construction, consumer goods, mining, and real estate. He once owned 17% of The New York Times, but has since sold it. His son-in-law, Fernando Romero, designed the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City which showcases Slim’s diverse art collection. The Slim family holds a 79% stake in Grupo Carso, one of the largest conglomerates in Latin America, contributing over 8% to his wealth.
8. Larry Page
|$90.2 B||49||United States|
Larry Page co-founded Google in 1998 with Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University. The pair developed the PageRank algorithm, which became the foundation of the Google search engine. Page served as CEO of Google from 2001-2011 and then again from 2015-2019 when he stepped down to become a board member and controlling shareholder of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. In addition to his involvement with Google and Alphabet, Page is a founding investor in space exploration company Planetary Resources and also funds startups in the flying car industry, including Kitty Hawk and Opener.
9. Sergey Brin
|$86.4 B||49||United States|
Sergey Brin remains a controlling shareholder and board member of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, after stepping down from his role as President in December 2019.
He co-founded Google with Larry Page in 1998 after meeting at Stanford University where they were pursuing advanced degrees in computer science.
In 2004, Google went public and later in 2015, it became a subsidiary of Alphabet.
Brin was absent from public appearances for Alphabet in 2019 as he dedicated his time to X, Alphabet’s moonshot research lab.
He is reportedly financing a high-tech airship project.
10. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of the founder of cosmetic giant L’Oreal, is the wealthiest woman on the planet. She and her family hold approximately 33% of L’Oreal’s stock. Bettencourt Meyers has been a board member of the company since 1997 and heads the family’s holding firm. Upon the death of her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, in 2017, she became the principal L’Oreal heiress. In addition, she serves as the president of the Bettencourt Meyers family’s philanthropic foundation, which supports advancements in science and the arts in France. L’Oreal and the Bettencourt Meyers family joined forces to donate $226 million to restore Notre Dame Cathedral after the fire in April 2019.
11. Steve Ballmer
|$83.2 B||66||United States||Microsoft|
Steve Ballmer is a former high-powered CEO of Microsoft who led the company from 2000 to 2014. He joined Microsoft in 1980 as the 30th employee after dropping out of Stanford’s MBA program. Under Ballmer’s leadership, Microsoft navigated through the first dot-com crash and attempted to compete with Google in search and Apple in mobile phones. After retiring from Microsoft, he purchased the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team for $2 billion. Since 2014, Ballmer has significantly increased his philanthropic efforts, donating over $2 billion to a donor-advised fund with a focus on alleviating poverty in America. In 2018, he invested $59 million in Social Solutions, a company that provides software solutions for non-profits and government agencies.
12. Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani leads Reliance Industries, a conglomerate worth $104 billion in revenue, with interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom, and retail.
Founded by his late father, Dhirubhai Ambani, who started as a small textile manufacturer in 1966, Reliance has grown into a massive corporation. After Dhirubhai’s death in 2002, Mukesh and his brother Anil divided the family business.
With the launch of Jio, a 4G phone and broadband service, in 2016, Reliance ignited a telecom price war and now boasts over 420 million subscribers, with plans to roll out 5G services.
As part of its pivot to green energy, Reliance will invest $80 billion in renewable energy over the next decade to fifteen years, and is constructing a new complex near its refinery.
Mukesh has established a clear succession plan, with son Akash as chairman of Reliance Jio, daughter Isha in charge of retail, and younger son Anant involved in the new energy business.
13. Amancio Ortega
Amancio Ortega, a Spanish clothing tycoon, is one of the world’s wealthiest fashion retailers. He founded Inditex, the parent company of the popular Zara chain, with his former wife Rosalia Mera in 1975. Ortega holds approximately 60% of Inditex, which has a global presence with 8 brands, including Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear, and over 7,500 stores. He earns more than $400 million in annual dividends from Inditex. In November 2021, it was announced that his daughter Marta Ortega Pérez will become the chairperson of the company in April 2022. Ortega primarily invests his dividends in real estate in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, London, Chicago, Miami, and New York.
14. Michael Bloomberg
|$76.8 B||80||United States||Bloomberg LP|
Michael Bloomberg co-founded Bloomberg LP, a financial information and media company, in 1981 with his own seed funding. He currently owns 88% of the company, with estimated revenues exceeding $12 billion. His career began in 1966 at investment bank Salomon Brothers where he worked his way up from an entry-level job, until he was let go 15 years later. As a philanthropist, he has donated over $12.7 billion towards causes such as gun control and climate change. In 2019, he announced his candidacy for president but dropped out the following year. He made significant investments to defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Bloomberg served as Mayor of New York City for a record 12 years.
15. Zhong Shanshan
|$69.3 B||68||China||beverages, pharmaceuticals|
Zhong Shanshan is the founder and chairman of Nongfu Spring, a leading bottled water company that went public in Hong Kong in September 2020. Born in Hangzhou, China, Zhong dropped out of elementary school during the Cultural Revolution and held various jobs including construction work, newspaper reporting, and beverage sales. He eventually established his own business and also holds control over Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, a company that produces rapid diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
16. Mark Zuckerberg
|$66.8 B||38||United States|
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004 at the age of 19 as a platform for Harvard students to associate names with photos of their classmates. In May 2012, the company went public and Zuckerberg now holds a 13% stake in Facebook. In November 2021, the company changed its name to Meta to shift its focus to the metaverse. In June 2021, antitrust cases brought by the government and several states were dismissed by a judge, which could have resulted in the separation of Instagram and WhatsApp from Facebook. In December 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan promised to donate 99% of their Facebook shares throughout their lifetime.
17. Gautam Adani
|$61.7 B||60||India||infrastructure, commodities|
Gautam Adani is the chairman of Adani Group, a conglomerate with a revenue of $23 billion, operating in various industries such as ports, airports, power, green energy, etc. In Jan 2023, Hindenburg Research accused Adani and the group of financial fraud and stock market manipulation, which Adani Group denies. Adani is India’s largest airport operator and controls Mundra Port, the country’s biggest, located in Gujarat. Adani became India’s second-largest cement producer in 2022 after acquiring Holcim’s Indian assets for $10.5 billion.
18. Jim Walton
|$60.8 B||74||United States||Walmart|
Jim Walton, the youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, is the chairman of Arvest Bank with over $20 billion in assets. He served on Walmart’s board for over a decade before passing the seat to his son, Steuart, in June 2016. Along with other Walton heirs, Jim owns about half of Walmart’s stock. He and his sister Alice are leading a program that will issue $300 million in bonds to support charter schools’ facility investments.
19. Rob Walton
|$59.5 B||78||United States||Walmart|
Rob Walton is the eldest son of Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton. He became the chairman of Walmart following his father’s death in 1992. In June 2015, Rob retired as chairman and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Greg Penner, who still serves on Walmart’s board. The Walton heirs collectively own roughly half of Walmart’s stock. In June 2022, a group led by Rob agreed to purchase the Denver Broncos of the NFL for a record $4.7 billion.
20. Julia Koch
|$59.3 B||60||United States||Koch Industries|
Julia Koch and her three children inherited a 42% stake in Koch Industries from her husband David, who passed away in August 2019 at the age of 79. Originally from Iowa, Julia moved to New York City in the 1980s and worked as an assistant to fashion designer Adolfo, serving high-profile clients such as First Lady Nancy Reagan. Julia and David met on a blind date in 1991, and after reconnecting six months later, they started dating and got married in 1996. Together, they donated $10 million each to Mount Sinai Medical Center and Stanford Children’s Hospital for food allergy research.
21. Charles Koch
|$59.3 B||87||United States||Koch Industries|
Charles Koch has served as the chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, the second largest private company in America with revenues of around $125 billion, since 1967. Koch Industries is a diversified company with interests in pipelines, chemicals, software, automotive components, and Dixie cups. The family business was started by Charles’ father, Fred Koch, who developed a method to refine heavy oil into gasoline in 1927. Charles, a native of Kansas, owns a 42% stake in the company, as did his brother David until his death in August 2019. In 1983, Charles and David bought out the stakes of their two other brothers in Koch Industries for nearly $800 million. Charles’ son, Chase, heads the company’s venture capital arm, which has invested in AI-based neurological diagnosis company NeuraLight and smart supply chain firm Arkestro.
22. Alice Walton
|$58.6 B||73||United States||Walmart|
Alice Walton, the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, is an art curator and not involved with Walmart like her brothers Rob and Jim. She founded the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas in 2011, featuring works from artists such as Warhol, Rockwell, and Rothko. In 2022, the health institute she started in Bentonville the previous year was renamed the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine.
23. David Thomson
David Thomson and his family control a media and publishing empire started by his grandfather Roy Thomson, with their largest holding being over 320 million shares of Thomson Reuters where Thomson serves as chairman. In 2018, they sold a controlling stake in Refinitiv, a financial data provider, to Blackstone for $17 billion. The family also has a stake in Bell Canada and owns the Toronto-based Globe and Mail newspaper.
24. Michael Dell
|$52.9 B||57||United States||Dell Technologies|
Michael Dell is the Chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, formed from the $60 billion merger between Dell and EMC in 2016. The company went public again in 2018 after a financial restructuring. Dell’s wealth is largely in MSD Capital, his private investment firm with holdings in hotels and investments in corporate credit. In 2017, he donated $1 billion to his foundation focused on addressing child poverty through impact investments and charitable donations.
25. Zhang Yiming
|$49.5 B||39||China||Tik tok|
Zhang Yiming is the founder of ByteDance, the tech giant behind TikTok, with over 1 billion users worldwide. He stepped down as CEO in May 2021 and as chairman in November 2021. ByteDance has a diverse range of interests, from news and education to gaming and healthcare. The company raised funds at a $180 billion valuation in 2020, and reportedly agreed to spend $3 billion to buy back shares in September 2022 at a $300 billion valuation. Zhang started ByteDance in 2012 and launched Toutiao shortly after. He was named to Forbes China’s 30 Under 30 List in 2013.
26. Phil Knight
|$48.3 B||84||United States||Nike|
Phil Knight is the founder of shoe company Nike. He retired as chairman in 2016 after 52 years with the company. He and his former track coach, Bill Bowerman, started Nike, then called Blue Ribbon Sports, with $500 each in 1964. Today, Nike generates nearly $45 billion in revenue. Knight has committed over $500 million in donations to the University of Oregon and Stanford Graduate School of Business, his alma maters.
27. François Pinault
|$42.5 B||86||France||luxury goods|
François Pinault is the founder and honorary chairman of Kering, a luxury group owning fashion brands like Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, and Gucci. He established the company, originally in wood and building materials, in 1963 and pivoted towards luxury goods by acquiring a controlling stake in Gucci Group in 1999. Today, Kering generates $20 billion in sales and is led by Pinault’s son François-Henri. The Pinault family also owns Christie’s auction house and a 3,000-piece art collection featuring works by artists like Picasso, Mondrian, and Koons, which is displayed in the restored 18th-century Bourse de Commerce building in Paris.
28. Rodolphe Saadé
Rodolphe Saadé is the CEO and chairman of CMA CGM Group, one of the world’s largest shipping companies. He took over the role from his late father, Jacques Saadé, who founded the company in Marseille, France in 1978. Rodolphe jointly controls CMA CGM with his siblings and mother, with a revenue of $47 billion and serving 420 commercial ports in 160 countries.
29. Ma Huateng
|$40.8 B||51||Internet media||shipping|
Ma Huateng (aka Pony Ma) is the chairman of Tencent Holdings, a Chinese internet giant. Tencent, known for its popular app WeChat with over 1 billion users, is a major videogame publisher with stakes in Epic Games, Tesla, and Spotify. Ma was involved in the R&D of internet paging at China Motion Telecom before founding Tencent in 1998.
30. Li Ka-shing
|$39.2 B||94||Hong Kong||diversified|
Li Ka-shing, nicknamed “Superman,” is a renowned Asian business icon. He retired as chairman of CK Hutchison and CK Asset in 2018 but serves as senior advisor. Li’s son Victor now leads the conglomerate with over 300,000 employees in over 50 countries. Li started Cheung Kong plastics in 1950 with $6,500 and has since donated over $3.8 billion through his foundation, with 80% going to Greater China. At his retirement, he joked about working for too long.
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