Microsoft’s Bill Gates is world’s richest person – Bloomberg Billionaires Index

3 Jan 2014

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Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft

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Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates is once again the world’s richest person, with a net worth of US$78.2bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The index is a ranking of the world’s 300 wealthiest individuals.

Most of Gates’ fortune is derived from Cascade Investment, a holding company created from the proceeds of Microsoft stock sales and dividends. Since Microsoft’s IPO in 1986, Gates has sold about US$31bn in stock and gathered more than US$7.8bn in dividends, including a US$3.3bn payout in 2004, which he donated to his philanthropic foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates owns about 4.3pc of Microsoft.

Other tech leaders on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index are (dollar amounts are net worth):

  • Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corp: US$43.3bn
  • Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO: US$35.9bn
  • Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO: US$31.2bn
  • Sergey Brin, Google co-founder: US$30.9bn
  • Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook co-founder and CEO: US$24.7bn
  • Steve Ballmer, outgoing Microsoft CEO: US$17.8bn
  • Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell: US$15.4bn
  • Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook co-founder: US$6.9bn

Gates regained the top spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index from Carlos Slim, owner of America Movil, the largest mobile-phone operator in the Americas. Slim has a net worth pegged at US$72bn.

The world’s billionaires became even wealthier in 2013, adding US$524bn to their collective net worth, according to the index. The aggregate net worth of the world’s top billionaires stood at US$3.7trn at the market close on 31 December, according to the ranking.

The technology industry, which increased 28pc during 2013, yielded the largest gains.

Tina held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto

editorial@siliconrepublic.com