Forbes puts the number of billionaires in the world at 2,668 in 2022.
Those who make it to the list are mostly founders of technology giants, with much of their wealth still invested in the companies they started.
With so much of their wealth in publicly traded stocks, the net worth of the richest can fluctuate with market valuations.
Bernard Arnault, co-founder, chair, and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is the richest person and the richest man in the world with a net worth of $172.9 billion.
Behind Arnault is co-founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk who recently bought Twitter.
Below are the 10 wealthiest people on the planet as of the same date, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bernard Arnault profile, age, Residence, Networth
CEO and Chair: LVMH
Net Worth: $172.9 billion
Christian Dior Ownership Stake: 97.5% ($132 billion total)
Other Assets: Moelis & Company equity ($25 billion public asset) and $10.3 billion in cash
French national Bernard Arnault is the chair and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. LVMH brands include Louis Vuitton, Hennessey, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora.
Most of Arnault’s wealth comes from his massive stake in Christian Dior SE, the holding company that controls 41.2% of LVMH. His shares in Christian Dior SE, plus an additional 6.2% in LVMH, are held through his family-owned holding company, Groupe Familial Arnault.
An engineer by training, Arnault first showed his business acumen while working for his father’s construction firm, Ferret-Savinel, taking charge of the company in 1971. He converted Ferret-Savinel to a real estate company named Férinel Inc. in 1979.
2. Elon Musk
Elon Musk profile, age, Residence, Networth
Co-founder and CEO: Tesla
Net Worth: $168.5 billion
Tesla Ownership Stake: 15% ($63.6 billion)
Other Assets: Space Exploration Technologies ($46.9 billion private asset), The Boring Company ($3.33 billion private asset), Twitter ($20.2 billion private asset)7
Elon Musk is the second-richest man in the world. He was born in South Africa and attended a university in Canada before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics.
Two days after enrolling in a graduate physics program at Stanford University, Musk deferred attendance to launch Zip2, one of the earliest online navigation services. He reinvested a portion of the proceeds from this startup to create X.com, the online payment system that was sold to eBay and ultimately became PayPal Holdings.
In 2004, Musk became a major funder of Tesla Motors (now Tesla), which led to his current position as CEO of the electric vehicle company. In addition to its line of electric automobiles, Tesla produces energy storage devices, automobile accessories, and, through its acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, solar power systems. Musk is also CEO and chief engineer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a developer of space launch rockets.
In 2020, Tesla shares soared 740% to propel Musk up the wealth rankings. In December 2020, Tesla joined the S&P 500, becoming the largest company added. In January 2021, Musk became the richest person in the world—a title he held till December 2022, when his net worth fell due to a decrease in Tesla’s share price over the year.
Musk asked his Twitter audience on Nov. 6, 2021, whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock, framing the issue as a response to criticism of unrealized capital gains as a means of avoiding taxes. He proceeded to sell shares worth $16.4 billion over the remainder of 2021.
Thanks to the surge in Tesla shares in 2021 and private transactions boosting the reported valuation of SpaceX, Musk’s lead in the global wealth rankings continued to grow. His net worth hit a high of $340 billion in November 2021.
In April 2022, Musk began a campaign to take Twitter private, which culminated in a $44 billion buyout. Musk planned to fund the deal with $21 billion of his own capital. In the run-up to the buyout announcement, Musk sold 9.6 million shares of Tesla, valued at roughly $8.5 billion.
In July 2022, Musk decided to back out of the Twitter buyout. Twitter filed a lawsuit against Musk to force the buyout to go through. Musk countersued the company but then reversed course and declared he was willing to buy Twitter after all. The deal officially closed in October 2022, giving him an almost 80% stake in the company.
Gautam Adani profile, age, Residence, Networth
Residence: Gurgaon, India
Founder and Chair: Adani Group
Net Worth: $125 billion
Adani Enterprises, Adani Power, and Adani Transmissions Ownership Stakes: 75% each ($72.45 billion)
Other Assets: 66% of Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone ($12.2 billion public asset), 61% of Adani Green Energy ($22.6 billion public asset), 37% of Adani Total Gas ($18.1 billion public asset).
Gautam Adani, the founder of Adani Group, surpassed Mukesh Ambani in March 2022 as the richest person in Asia. Through his ownership of the Adani Group, Adani owns major stakes in six key Indian companies, including a 75% stake in Adani Enterprises, Adani Power, and Adani Transmissions, as well as a 66% stake in Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone, 61% stake in Adani Green Energy, and a 37% stake in Adani Total Gas.
Adani entered the power generation market in 2009 with Adani Power. Adani created Adani Enterprises in 1988 to import and export commodities. In 1994, his company was granted approval to develop a harbor facility at Mundra Port, which is now the largest private port in India.
Adani dropped out of college and previously worked in the diamond trade. Adani now has the largest port operator, closely-held thermal coal producer, and coal trader in India. In 2020, he purchased a 74% stake in Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, India’s second-busiest airport.
4. Bill Gates
Bill Gates profile, age, Residence, Networth
Net Worth: $115 billion
Microsoft Ownership Stake: 1.3% ($26 billion)
Other Assets: $55 billion in cash and billions over multiple other companies.
While attending Harvard University in 1975, Bill Gates went to work alongside his childhood friend Paul Allen to develop new software for the original microcomputers. Following this project’s success, Gates dropped out of Harvard during his junior year and founded Microsoft with Allen.
The largest software company in the world, Microsoft, also produces a line of personal computers, provides email services through its exchange server, and sells video game systems and associated game devices. It has recently invested heavily in cloud services.
Gates shifted from the company’s CEO to the role of board chair in 2008. He joined Berkshire Hathaway’s board in 2004. He stepped down from both boards on March 13, 2020.
Bill Gates has much of his net worth in Cascade Investment LLC. Cascade is a privately-held investment vehicle that owns a variety of stocks including Canadian National Railway, Deere, and Republic Services, as well as private investments in real estate and energy.
5. Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos profile, age, Residence, Networth
Founder and Executive Chair: Amazon
Net Worth: $114 billion
Amazon Ownership Stake: 10% ($89.9 billion)
Other Assets: Blue Origin ($9.15 billion private asset), The Washington Post ($250 million private asset), and $14.5 billion in cash.
In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in a garage in Seattle, shortly after he resigned from the hedge fund giant D.E. Shaw. He had originally pitched the idea of an online bookstore to his former boss David E. Shaw, who wasn’t interested.
Though Amazon originally started out selling books, it has since morphed into a one-stop shop for everything under the sun and is expected to overtake Walmart as the world’s largest retailer by 2024. Amazon’s pattern of constant diversification is evident in some of its unexpected expansions, which include acquiring Whole Foods in 2017 and entering the pharmacy business the same year.
Bezos owned as much as 16% of Amazon in 2019 before transferring 4% to his former wife, MacKenzie Scott, as part of their divorce proceedings. In 2020, Amazon’s share price jumped 76% on the heightened demand for online shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 5, 2021, Bezos stepped down as CEO of the e-commerce giant, becoming its executive chair.
On July 20, 2021, Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and Dutch student Oliver Daemen completed Blue Origin’s first successful crewed flight, reaching an altitude of more than 66 miles before landing safely. Bezos’ wealth peaked at $211 billion in the same month.
6. Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett profile, age, Residence, Networth
CEO: Berkshire Hathaway
Net Worth: $108 billion
Berkshire Hathaway Ownership Stake: 14% ($107 billion)
Other Assets: $1.10 billion in cash.
The most famous living value investor, Warren Buffett filed his first tax return in 1944 at age 14, declaring earnings from his boyhood paper route. He first bought shares in a textile company called Berkshire Hathaway in 1962, becoming the majority shareholder by 1965. Buffett expanded the company’s holdings to insurance and other investments in 1967.
Widely known as the Oracle of Omaha, Buffett is a buy-and-hold investor who built his fortune by acquiring undervalued companies. More recently, Berkshire Hathaway has invested in large, well-known companies. Its portfolio of wholly owned subsidiaries includes interests in insurance, energy distribution, and railroads as well as consumer products.
Buffett is a notable Bitcoin skeptic.
7. Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison profile, age, Residence, Networth
Co-founder, Chair, and CTO: Oracle
Net Worth: $93.7 billion
Oracle Ownership Stake: 40%+ ($68.3 billion)
Other Assets: Tesla equity ($7.56 billion public asset), $17.2 billion in cash.
Larry Ellison was born in New York City to a 19-year-old single mother. After dropping out of the University of Chicago in 1966, Ellison moved to California and worked as a computer programmer.
In 1973, he joined the electronics company Ampex, where he met future partners Ed Oates and Bob Miner. Three years later, Ellison moved to Precision Instruments, serving as the company’s vice president of research and development.
In 1977, Ellison founded Software Development Laboratories alongside Oates and Miner. Two years later, the company released Oracle, the first commercial relational database program to use Structured Query Language. The database program proved so popular that SDL would change its name to Oracle Systems Corporation in 1982. Ellison gave up the CEO role at Oracle in 2014 after 37 years. He joined Tesla’s board in December 2018 and stepped down in June 2022.
Oracle is the world’s second-largest software company, providing a wide variety of cloud computing programs as well as Java and Linux code and the Oracle Exadata computing platform.
Oracle has acquired numerous large companies, including human resources management systems provider PeopleSoft in 2005, customer relationship management applications provider Siebel in 2006, enterprise infrastructure software provider BEA Systems in 2008, and hardware-and-software developer Sun Microsystems in 2009. In December 2021, Oracle agreed to buy medical records software provider Cerner for $28.3 billion in cash.
8. Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani profile, age, Residence, Networth
Residence: Mumbai, India
Owner: Reliance Industries
Net Worth: $89.6 billion
Reliance Ownership Stake: 42% ($90.1 billion total)
Other Assets: $410 million in real estate.
Mukesh Ambani is the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, the world’s largest oil refiner and one of the world’s most valuable companies.
The conglomerate was founded by Ambani’s father, Dhirubhai Ambani in 1966 as a textiles company and is now one of the leading segments of India’s economy. Reliance’s operations include oil and gas, petrochemicals, refining, retail, and media.
About half of Ambani’s wealth is derived from his stake in Reliance, which amounts to 42% of the public company. He owns Antilia, a real estate complex in Mumbai that’s worth $410 million. Ambani also owns the Mumbai Indians, a professional cricket team.
In 2016, Ambani launched a 4G phone network across India, netting more than 420 million subscribers, and is planning to launch 5G services.
9. Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer profile, age, Residence, Networth
Owner: Los Angeles Clippers
Net Worth: $89.3 billion
Microsoft Ownership Stake: 4% ($80.6 billion total)
Other Assets: Los Angeles Clippers ($3.16 billion private asset), $5.5 billion in cash.
Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 after Bill Gates convinced him to drop out of Stanford University’s MBA program. He was Microsoft’s 30th employee. Ballmer went on to succeed Gates as Microsoft CEO in 2000. He held the position until stepping down in 2014. Ballmer oversaw Microsoft’s 2011 purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion.
Ballmer owns an estimated 4% of Microsoft, making him the software giant’s largest individual shareholder. In 2014, shortly after stepping down as Microsoft CEO, Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team for $2 billion
Ballmer lived in the same dorm and on the same floor as Bill Gates while the two attended Harvard University.
10. Larry Page
Larry Page profile, age, Residence, Networth
Co-founder and Board Member: Alphabet
Net Worth: $86.9 billion
Alphabet Ownership Stake: 6% ($72.8 billion total)
Other Assets: $14.1 billion in cash.
Like several of the tech billionaires on this list, Larry Page embarked on his path to fame and fortune in a college dorm room. While attending Stanford University in 1995, Page and his friend Sergey Brin came up with the idea of improving Internet data extraction. The duo devised a new search engine technology they dubbed Backrub after its ability to assess links to a page.
From there, Page and Brin went on to found Google in 1998, with Page serving as CEO of the company until 2001, and again between 2011 and 2019.
Google is the world’s dominant Internet search engine, accounting for more than 92% of global search requests. In 2006, the company purchased YouTube, the top platform for user-submitted videos.
Page was among early investors in Planetary Resources, a space exploration and asteroid-mining company. Established in 2009, the company was acquired by blockchain firm ConsenSys in 2018 amid funding problems. He has also shown an interest in flying car companies, investing in both Kitty Hawk and Opener.
Shares of Google soared almost 50% in 2021, moving Page and Brin up the billionaire list. Page’s net worth went from just below $52 billion in March 2020 to the current $86.9 billion.
Who Are the Top 10 Richest People in the World?
The top 10 richest people in the world are:
Who Is the World’s Richest Man in 2022?
As of December 2022, the world’s richest man is Bernard Arnault, the co-founder, CEO, and chair of LVMH. He took over the top spot after Elon Musk’s net worth dropped due to the declining value of Tesla’s stock.
Who Is the Richest Woman in the World?
The richest woman in the world is Francoise Bettencourt Meyers. As of December 2022, her net worth is $73.6 billion. Her net worth is derived from her holdings in L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics company.