CEO and Founder, Amazon
- Jeff Bezos founded e-commerce colossus Amazon in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle. He remains CEO and owns a nearly 12% stake.
- He divorced his wife MacKenzie in July 2019 after 25 years of marriage and transferred one quarter of his Amazon stake to her.
- MacKenzie Bezos’s 4% slice of Amazon makes her one of the world’s richest women.
- In 2018, Amazon had $230 billion in revenues and a record $10 billion in net profit, up from $3 billion the prior year.
- In February, Amazon announced it was canceling plans for a second headquarters in Long Island City, New York after local lawmakers opposed the plan.
- Bezos owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace company that is developing a rocket for commercial use.
Cofounder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- With his wife Melinda, Bill Gates chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable foundation.
- The foundation works to improve global health and to create equal opportunity for people around the globe.
- Gates has sold or given away much of his stake in Microsoft — he owns just over 1% of shares — and invested in a mix of stocks and other assets.
- He remains a board member of Microsoft, the software firm he founded with Paul Allen (d. 2018) in 1975.
- In early 2019, Gates responded to the public backlash against billionaires by reiterating his support for a higher estate tax.
- To date, Gates has donated $35.8 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the Gates Foundation.
CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
- Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time.
- Buffett runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns more than 60 companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen.
- The son of a U.S. congressman, he first bought stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13.
- He’s promised to give away over 99% of his fortune. In 2019 he donated $3.6 billion, much of it to the foundation of friends Bill and Melinda Gates.
- In 2010, he and Gates launched the Giving Pledge, asking billionaires to commit to donating half their wealth to charitable causes.
4.Bernard Arnault & family
Chairman and CEO, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
- One of the world’s ultimate taste-makers, Bernard Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
- His luxury goods group, LVMH, posted record sales and profits in 2018, thanks in part to increased spending by Chinese customers.
- The arts patron is the visionary behind the $135 million Frank Gehry-designed Foundation Louis Vuitton museum near Paris, opened in 2014.
- Arnault and LVMH pledged over $220 million to help repair the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris following a devastating fire in mid April 2019.
- His daughter Delphine is executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, and a member of LVMH’s executive committee.
- His father made a small fortune in construction; Arnault put up $15 million from that business to buy Christian Dior in 1985.
5.Carlos Slim Helu & family
Honorary Chairman, América Móvil
- Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helu and his family control America Movil, Latin America’s biggest mobile telecom firm.
- With foreign telecom partners, Slim bought a stake in Telmex, Mexico’s only phone company, in 1990. Telmex is now part of America Movil.
- He also owns stakes in Mexican construction, consumer goods, mining and real estate companies and 17% of The New York Times.
- His son-in-law Fernando Romero designed the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, home to Slim’s extensive, eclectic art collection.