Not even a nearly $40 billion divorce can stop Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos from being the world’s richest person.
For the third year in a row, Bezos landed the top spot on Forbes’ rank of global billionaires. His net worth fell by $18 billion last year to $113 billion, according to Forbes, partially due to his high-profile split from MacKenzie Bezos. Amazon’s stock rose 15% last year, helping offset some of that loss.
MacKenzie Bezos also made her first appearance on the list, thanks to the $38 billion divorce settlement. As part of the settlement, she got 25% of the couple’s Amazon stock. She now ranks 22nd on Forbes’ list.
Forbes revealed the 34th edition of list Tuesday. The list takes into account the coronavirus pandemic, which has thrown global markets into a panic over the past few months. For the first half of March, 226 people lost their billionaire status and there are 58 fewer billionaires compared to the same time last year. In total, Forbes counted 2,095 billionaires.
“Of the billionaires who remain, 51% are poorer than they were last year. In raw terms, the world’s billionaires are worth $8 trillion, down $700 billion from 2019,” Forbes said.
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is in second place with a $98 billion fortune, an increase of $1.5 billion. Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of luxury magnate LVMH, nudged Warren Buffett out of third place with a $76 billion fortune. At $67.5 billion, Buffett’s fortune landed in fourth place.
The world’s richest woman continues to be Walmart heir Alice Walton. She’s in ninth place with $54.4 billion.
Besides MacKenzie Bezos, there are 177 other fresh faces that grace the list for the first time.
Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom, is number 293 at $5.5 billion. His company’s stock blew up once the the teleconferencing software started being widely used by people working from home during the pandemic.
Another newcomer: Anthony von Mandl, the CEO of Mark Anthony Brands. His company created White Claw, the country’s top-selling hard seltzer drink that has become a phenomenon for people craving a guilt-free boozy beverage. He’s worth an estimated $3.3 billion by Forbes’ calculations and sits at position number 590.
Julia Koch, of the influential Koch Industries, is also new with a net worth of $38.2 billion. She propelled onto the list at 18th place after she and her children received a 42% stake in the company after her husband David died in August 2019.
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