They’re $200 billion poorer than last year, but still worth $2.1 trillion.
It was a down year for many of the planet’s 2,640 billionaires–including those at the very top of the top. The 25 richest people in the world are worth a collective $2.1 trillion, according to Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list, released Tuesday–down a combined $200 billion from $2.3 trillion in 2022.
Two-thirds of the top 25 are poorer than they were last year, compared to around half of the list overall. No one lost more than Jeff Bezos as Amazon shares crashed by 38%. The drop lopped $57 billion from Bezos’ fortune and knocked him from No. 2 in the world in 2022 to No. 3 this year. This year’s second-biggest loser, Elon Musk, had it worse. He lost his title of world’s richest person after his pricey purchase of Twitter, which he funded in part by the sale of Tesla shares, helping to spook investors. Musk, who is worth $39 billion less than a year ago, is now No. 2.
Two people lost their spot among the top 25. Zhang Yiming, who founded Tik Tok-parent Bytedance, dropped one place, from No. 25 to No. 26, as his embattled company has taken a haircut from investors. Binance founder Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, fell from No. 19 last year all the way to No. 167 amid the crypto winter.
Still, it’s not all bad news among this elite set. Bernard Arnault, head of luxury goods giant LVMH, is up $53 billion–more than any billionaire, and enough to vault him into No. 1 spot for the first time. Eight other members of the top 25 got richer since the 2022 ranking, including Spanish retailer Amancio Ortega (+$17.7 billion), Bloomberg LP cofounder and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (+$12.5 billion) and Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú (+$11.8 billion).
With so many fortunes dropping around them, two billionaires joined the top 25 this year: Canadian media mogul David Thomson and Nike cofounder Phil Knight.
Americans dominate the top of the billionaires ranks, taking 17 of the 25 spots, followed by France and India, with two apiece. The top 25 mostly made their money in technology (eight list members) and fashion & retail (seven).
Here are the 25 richest people on the 2023 World’s Billionaires list
(NET WORTHS ARE AS OF MARCH 10, 2023)
#1. Bernard Arnault & family
Net worth: $211 Billion | Source of Wealth: LVMH | Age: 74 | Citizenship: France
The French luxury goods tycoon tops the World’s Billionaires list for the first time on the back of a banner year at LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Tiffany & Co., among others. Revenue, profit and LVMH shares all sit at record highs, helping add $53 billion to Arnault’s fortune over the past 12 months, the biggest gain of any billionaire. Wealthier than ever, Arnault is now planning for succession: In July, he proposed a reorganization of his holding company, Agache, which holds the bulk of his LVMH stock, to give equal stakes to his five children.
#2. Elon Musk
Net worth: $180 Billion | Source of Wealth: Tesla, SpaceX | Age: 51 | Citizenship: U.S.
Musk has mostly tweeted himself out of the top spot on the ranks, with Tesla stock down nearly 50% since he announced his $44 billion takeover of Twitter last April, far outpacing the tech-heavy Nasdaq’s 18% drop. Investors have bemoaned the $23 billion of Tesla shares he sold to finance the acquisition. SpaceX, meanwhile, keeps soaring, with the company valued at nearly $140 billion in a tender offer that closed in early 2023—up from the $127 billion at which investors valued it last May. Still, Musk is worth $39 billion less than a year ago.
#3. Jeff Bezos
Net worth: $114 Billion | Source of Wealth: Amazon | Age: 59 | Citizenship: U.S.
Since stepping down as Amazon CEO in 2021, Bezos has flown to space via his company Blue Origin, made waves with a near-complete $500 million superyacht and stepped up his philanthropy through support for groups such as Bezos Academy free preschools and grants from his Bezos Earth Fund. His fortune isn’t faring as well: He’s $57 billion poorer than a year ago—the biggest loss of any billionaire—thanks to a 38% decline in Amazon stock.
#4. Larry Ellison
Net worth: $107 Billion | Source of Wealth: Oracle | Age: 78 | Citizenship: U.S.
The Oracle chairman and former CEO rose four spots amid a tough year for tech, as Oracle shares increased 10% on solid earnings and a focus on security. Ellison bought one of Florida’s most expensive homes for $173 million last summer, adding to his portfolio of glitzy real estate, including the Hawaiian island of Lanai, where he lives. He stepped down from Tesla’s board in August after four years.
#5. Warren Buffett
Net worth: $106 Billion | Source of Wealth: Berkshire Hathaway | Age: 92 | Citizenship: U.S.
Buffett has spent the past three years on a spending spree, pumping some $90 billion of Berkshire Hathaway’s cash into stocks, share buybacks and the $11.5 billion acquisition of insurance firm Alleghany Corp., which closed in October. In late March the Oracle of Omaha, a veteran of market crises, reportedly advised the Biden administration on bank runs and discussed possible investments in regional banks.
#6. Bill Gates
Net worth: $104 Billion | Source of Wealth: Microsoft | Age: 67 | Citizenship: U.S.
Gates stepped down from the board of Microsoft in 2020 but still spends 10% of his time working with teams at the software firm–including those at OpenAI, which Microsoft has backed. “This is every bit as important as the PC, as the internet,” Gates told Forbes in February, referring to generative artificial intelligence tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Meanwhile, he and his former wife, Melinda French Gates, are boosting spending by the Gates Foundation, which they co-chair and plan to wind down within 25 years.
#7. Michael Bloomberg
Net worth: $94.5 Billion | Source of Wealth: Bloomberg LP | Age: 81 | Citizenship: U.S.
Despite his donations of another $1.7 billion to charity over the past year, the Bloomberg LP cofounder’s fortune still climbed, as estimated revenue at his financial terminal and media business reached $13.3 billion in 2022, up from $12.5 billion in 2021. Bloomberg, a longtime supporter of Israel, waded into Israeli politics in a New York Times opinion piece in March, criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to weaken the country’s judiciary.
#8. Carlos Slim Helú & family
Net worth: $93 Billion | Source of Wealth: Telecom | Age: 83 | Citizenship: Mexico
The New York–listed shares of the telecom tycoon’s pan–Latin American mobile phone firm, América Móvil, rose 14% in the past year, helping to lift Slim’s fortune by nearly $12 billion and place him among the world’s ten richest people for the first time since 2019. In February, he listed his historic Manhattan mansion–located across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art— for $80 million, almost twice what he paid for it in 2010.
#9. Mukesh Ambani
Net worth: $83.4 Billion | Source of Wealth: Diversified| Age: 65 | Citizenship: India
Ambani regained his spot as Asia’s richest person as Gautam Adani (No. 24) tumbled. Last year, Ambani’s oil-to-telecom behemoth Reliance Industries became the first Indian company to surpass $100 billion in revenue. He sidestepped speculation about succession by giving his children key roles last year: Older son Akash is chairman of telecom arm Jio Infocomm; daughter Isha is head of the retail business; and son Anant works in Reliance’s new energy ventures.
#10. Steve Ballmer
Net worth: $80.7 Billion | Source of Wealth: Microsoft | Age: 67 | Citizenship: U.S.
Ballmer’s L.A. Clippers–the sixth-most valuable NBA team–are flying high.He’s building them a privately funded $2 billion arena, slated for completion in 2024. The former Microsoft CEO’s fortune is down $10 billion in the past year, primarily due to the slump in Microsoft shares.
#11. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers & family
Net worth: $80.5 Billion | Source of Wealth: L’Oréal | Age: 69 | Citizenship: France
The L’Oréal heiress has kept her title of the world’s richest woman for the third year in a row, thanks to a 12% rise in the cosmetics giant’s stock in the last 12 months. Besides pledging $230 million for Notre-Dame Cathedral’s reconstruction, she has hired a managing director for her investment firm, Téthys Invest, where she backs projects including French private hospital operator Elsan.
#12. Larry Page
Net worth: $79.2 Billion | Source of Wealth: Google | Age: 50 | Citizenship: U.S.
Three years after the Google cofounder stepped away from day-to-day operations, Page and cofounder Sergey Brin (No. 14) attended strategy meetings in late 2022 amid the generative-AI arms race spurred by ChatGPT. Page has also stopped selling his stock: After unloading more than $2.5 billion (pretax) between May 2021 and April 2022, he has not sold a share since.
#13. Amancio Ortega
Net worth: $77.3 Billion | Source of Wealth: Zara | Age: 87 | Citizenship: Spain
His Inditex fashion retail empire—best known in the U.S. for the Zara chain—has been on a tear. Its stock rose 39% in the past 12 months, buoyed by brisk sales; revenue in the year through January 31, 2023, climbed 18% to nearly $35 billion. That boosted Ortega’s fortune by nearly $18 billion since last year. His daughter Marta Ortega was named Inditex’s chair in April 2022.
#14. Sergey Brin
Net worth: $76 Billion | Source of Wealth: Google | Age: 49 | Citizenship: U.S.
Like his cofounder Larry Page (No. 12), he stopped what the two men called their “daily nagging” at Google in 2019. But is Brin back? A code request filed in January appears to be his first in years, and he has reportedly submitted code changes to Google’s AI chatbot. Brin sold more than $2.5 billion worth of Alphabet shares between May 2021 and April 2022, but has only gifted stock since. He has donated a total of $1.1 billion to Parkinson’s disease research.
#15. Zhong Shanshan
Net worth: $68 Billion | Source of Wealth: Beverages, pharmaceuticals | Age: 68 | Citizenship: China
China’s bottled water king remains the country’s richest person for the third year in a row. Gains by Zhong-led beverage producer Nongfu Spring offset a decline in shares of his Covid test supplier Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy after the country eased pandemic restrictions at the end of last year.
#16. Mark Zuckerberg
Net worth: $64.4 Billion | Source of Wealth: Facebook | Age: 38 | Citizenship: U.S.
Unlike many big tech founders, Zuckerberg remains at the CEO helm. It hasn’t been easy, especially amid AI competition and tech layoffs, including 21,000 job cuts at his Meta Platforms since November. Meanwhile, the charitable Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which aims to create tools to help cure or manage all diseases, announced a new Chicago Biohub in March.
#17. Charles Koch
Net worth: $59 Billion | Source of Wealth: Koch Industries | Age: 87 | Citizenship: U.S.
#17. Julia Koch & family
Net worth: $59 Billion | Source of Wealth: Koch Industries | Age: 60 | Citizenship: U.S.
Change is underway at $125 billion (2022 sales) Wichita, Kansas, conglomerate Koch Industries, which announced a restructuring of certain subsidiaries in March 2022. Charles Koch recently announced that his chief operating officer will join him as co-CEO after 55 years alone in the role. Julia Koch, the widow of Charles’ brother David (d. 2019), was elected as a trustee of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in January.
#19. Jim Walton
Net worth: $58.8 Billion | Source of Wealth: Walmart | Age: 74 | Citizenship: U.S.
#20. Rob Walton
Net worth: $57.6 Billion | Source of Wealth: Walmart | Age: 78 | Citizenship: U.S.
#21. Alice Walton
Net worth: $56.7 Billion | Source of Wealth: Walmart | Age: 73 | Citizenship: U.S.
After decades of almost religiously holding onto their family retailer’s shares, the children of Walmart cofounder Sam Walton have been among its biggest sellers, unloading another $1.8 billion of stock over the past 12 months. A chunk of the proceeds likely helped fund Rob Walton’s record $4.7 billion purchase of the Denver Broncos last August. That investment is off to a slow start, with the team unexpectedly missing the NFL playoffs.
Net worth: $54.4 Billion | Source of Wealth: Media | Age: 65 | Citizenship: Canada
Canada’s richest person added another $5.2 billion to his fortune in 2022 as his 68% stake in the conglomerate Thomson Reuters jumped 17%. The Toronto based company, which Thomson chairs, has been supplementing its core news and information business with AI investments like SurePrep, an automated tax software company it acquired in January for $500 million.
#23. Michael Dell
Net worth: $50.1 Billion | Source of Wealth: Dell Technologies | Age: 58 | Citizenship: U.S.
The Dell chairman and CEO is $5 billion poorer this year after a 27% drop in Dell Technologies’ stock price. His family office, however, has grown into a large investment and advisory firm. MSD Partners, which manages over $12 billion, merged with fellow billionaire Byron Trott’s BDT & Co. in October.
#24. Gautam Adani
Net worth: $47.2 Billion | Source of Wealth: Infrastructure, commodities | Age: 60 | Citizenship: India
Adani was the world’s third-richest person on January 24, when he was worth nearly $126 billion. A report issued by short-seller Hindenburg Research later that day, however, sent his companies’ shares plummeting. (See story.)
#25. Phil Knight & family
Net worth: $45.1 Billion | Source of Wealth: Nike | Age: 85 | Citizenship: U.S.
Knight, who cofounded Nike in 1964 with just $500, is still reaping hefty dividends—$400 million (pretax) worth over the past year—thanks to a 25% stake in the shoe and apparel company. Supply chain difficulties and Covid restrictions in China nudged Nike’s shares down 3%. Ben Affleck portrays a young Knight in the new movie AIR, about the brand’s lucrative signing of a young Michael Jordan. .. Source