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The 10 Wealthiest People Shaping the World in 2024

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As we enter 2024, the landscape of global wealth continues to evolve, with technology moguls and business tycoons dominating the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. 

Based on data from the Real-Time Billionaires List, this article examines the top 10 richest people in the world, exploring their sources of wealth, business ventures, and notable achievements.

1. Elon Musk – Net Worth: $205.4 billion

Elon Musk, the South African-born entrepreneur, maintains his position as the world’s wealthiest person in 2024. At 52 years old, Musk’s fortune stems primarily from his roles as co-founder and CEO of Tesla, the electric vehicle and clean energy company, and founder and CEO of SpaceX, the private space exploration firm.

Musk’s wealth has seen significant fluctuations due to the volatile nature of Tesla’s stock price. Despite this, his net worth has remained robust, bolstered by the success of SpaceX and his other ventures, including The Boring Company and Neuralink. In 2022, Musk also acquired social media platform Twitter (now X) for $44 billion, adding another high-profile company to his portfolio.

Known for his ambitious goals and controversial statements, Musk continues to push the boundaries of technology and innovation. His companies are at the forefront of electric vehicle production, renewable energy solutions, and space exploration, with SpaceX making significant strides in reusable rocket technology and plans for Mars colonization.

2. Jeff Bezos – Net Worth: $203.2 billion

According to the Real-Time Billionaires List, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, holds the second spot on the list with a net worth of $203.2 billion. Born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 as an online bookstore, which has since grown into the world’s largest e-commerce platform.

Although Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon in 2021, he remains executive chairman and continues to play a significant role in the company’s strategic decisions. His wealth is primarily tied to his Amazon stock holdings, but he has diversified his investments over the years, including the purchase of The Washington Post in 2013 and the founding of space exploration company Blue Origin.

Bezos’s vision extends beyond Earth, with Blue Origin working on developing reusable launch vehicles and lunar landers. His commitment to innovation and long-term thinking has been a hallmark of his business approach, contributing to his immense wealth and influence in the tech industry.

3. Bernard Arnault & family – Net Worth: $200 billion

Bernard Arnault, the French business magnate, and his family occupy the third position with a net worth of $200 billion. As the chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Arnault oversees a vast empire of luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Hennessy.

Under Arnault’s leadership, LVMH has become the world’s largest luxury goods company, with a portfolio of over 70 prestigious brands across various sectors, including fashion, wines and spirits, perfumes and cosmetics, and watches and jewelry. His strategic acquisitions and brand management have been key to LVMH’s success and growth.

At 75 years old, Arnault has been carefully planning for succession, appointing his children to key positions within the LVMH group. This family-oriented approach to business management ensures the continuation of his legacy in the luxury goods industry.

4. Mark Zuckerberg – Net Worth: $176.5 billion

Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), ranks fourth with a net worth of $176.5 billion. Born on May 14, 1984, Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room in 2004, which has since grown into a global social media giant.

Under Zuckerberg’s leadership, Meta has expanded its reach beyond social networking, investing heavily in virtual and augmented reality technologies. The company’s rebranding to Meta in 2021 reflects its focus on developing the “metaverse,” a concept of interconnected virtual experiences.

Despite facing numerous challenges, including privacy concerns and regulatory scrutiny, Zuckerberg has continued to drive innovation within his company. His wealth is primarily tied to his significant stake in Meta, and he has pledged to give away 99% of his Meta shares over his lifetime through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which he founded with his wife, Priscilla Chan.

5. Larry Ellison – Net Worth: $153.7 billion

Larry Ellison, co-founder, executive chairman, and CTO of Oracle Corporation, holds the fifth position with a net worth of $153.7 billion. Born on August 17, 1944, Ellison co-founded Oracle in 1977, building it into one of the largest software companies in the world.

Larry Ellison’s net worth primarily comes from his substantial stake in Oracle, but he has also made significant investments in other companies, including a large position in Tesla. Known for his lavish lifestyle, Ellison owns properties around the world, including 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

In recent years, Ellison has focused on cloud computing and artificial intelligence, positioning Oracle to compete in these rapidly growing sectors. His competitive nature and strategic vision have been key factors in Oracle’s long-term success and his personal wealth accumulation.

6. Larry Page – Net Worth: $145.1 billion

Larry Page, co-founder of Google and former CEO of its parent company Alphabet Inc., ranks sixth with a net worth of $145.1 billion. Born on March 26, 1973, Page co-founded Google with Sergey Brin in 1998, revolutionizing internet search and digital advertising.

Page served as Google’s CEO from 2011 to 2015 and as CEO of Alphabet from 2015 to 2019. Although he has stepped down from day-to-day management, he remains a board member and controlling shareholder of Alphabet.

Known for his interest in technological advancements, Page has invested in flying car startups and other innovative ventures. His wealth continues to grow thanks to Alphabet’s strong performance and its dominance in the digital advertising market.

7. Sergey Brin – Net Worth: $139 billion

Sergey Brin, the other co-founder of Google, follows closely behind his partner Larry Page with a net worth of $139 billion. Born on August 21, 1973, in Moscow, Brin immigrated to the United States at the age of six.

Like Page, Brin has stepped back from active management roles at Alphabet but remains a board member and significant shareholder. His wealth has grown substantially over the years due to Google’s exponential growth and Alphabet’s expansion into various technology sectors.

Brin has shown interest in cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence and blockchain. He has also been involved in philanthropic efforts, particularly in the areas of Parkinson’s disease research and refugee support.

8. Bill Gates – Net Worth: $131 billion

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, holds the eighth position with a net worth of $131 billion. Born on October 28, 1955, Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975, playing a crucial role in the personal computer revolution.

Although Gates has largely stepped away from Microsoft, focusing instead on philanthropic efforts through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he remains a significant shareholder in the company. His wealth also comes from diverse investments managed through his holding company, Cascade Investment.

Gates has become a leading voice in global health, education, and climate change mitigation. His commitment to philanthropy, pledging to give away the majority of his wealth, has set a precedent for other billionaires.

9. Steve Ballmer – Net Worth: $126.5 billion

Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team, ranks ninth with a net worth of $126.5 billion. Born on March 24, 1956, Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 as its 30th employee and served as CEO from 2000 to 2014.

Ballmer’s wealth primarily comes from his stake in Microsoft, which he acquired during his long tenure with the company. Since retiring from Microsoft, he has focused on philanthropic efforts through the Ballmer Group and his ownership of the Clippers.

Known for his energetic personality, Ballmer has brought enthusiasm to his role as an NBA team owner. He has also funded USAFacts, a non-profit organization aimed at making government data more accessible and understandable.

10. Warren Buffett – Net Worth: $123 billion

Warren Buffett, often referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha,” rounds out the top 10 with a net worth of $123 billion. Born on August 30, 1930, Buffett is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate that owns a diverse portfolio of businesses.

Buffett’s investment philosophy, focusing on value investing and long-term growth, has made him one of the most successful investors in history. Despite his immense wealth, Buffett is known for his frugal lifestyle and his pledge to give away the majority of his fortune to philanthropic causes.

Through the years, Buffett has become not just a financial icon but also a source of wisdom on business and life. His annual shareholder meetings, often called the “Woodstock of Capitalism,” attract thousands of attendees seeking his insights.

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