1. Bill Gates (Microsoft) – 40.0 billion dollars
A software visionary, he stepped down from day-to-day duties at Microsoft last summer to devote his talents and riches to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
2. Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) – 37.0 billion dollars
Last year, America’s most beloved investor was the world’s richest man. This year he has to settle for second place after losing $25 billion in 12 months.
3. Carlos Slim (Telmex) – 35.0 billion dollars
The son of a Lebanese immigrant bought the fixed line operator Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) in 1990. He now controls 90% of Mexico’s telephone landlines.
4. Larry Ellison (Oracle) – 22.5 billion dollars
A Chicago native, he studies physics at the University of Chicago and didn’t graduate. He started the software company Oracle in 1977 and went public in 1986, a day before Microsoft did.
5. Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA) – 22.0 billion dollars
Peddled matches, fish, pens, Christmas cards and other items by bicycle as a teenager. Started selling furniture in 1947. Opened first Ikea store 50 years ago.
6. Karl Albrecht (Aldi) – 21.5 billion dollar
Germany’s richest person. He owns discount supermarket giant Aldi Sud. .With his younger brother Theo, he transformed their mother’s corner grocery store into Aldi after World War II. The brothers split ownership in 1961 and Karl took the stores in southern Germany, plus the rights to the brand in Great Britain and Australia.
7. Mukesh Ambani (Reliance) – 19.5 billion dollars
The richest man in India merged Reliance Industries with Reliance Petroleum.
8. Lakshmi Mittal (Arcelor Mittal) – 19.3 billion dollars
This Indian immigrant heads the world’s largest steel company. Arcelor Mittal was formed via hostile takeover 3 years ago.
9. Theo Albrecht (Aldi, Trader Joe’s) – 18.8 billion dollars
Brother of before mentioned Karl. Owns Aldi in northern Germany and the rights for the rest of the world.
10. Amancio Ortega (Zara) – 18.3 billion dollars
This railway worker’s son started his career as a gofer in a shirt store. With his then-wife Rosalia Mera, also now a billionaire, he started making dressing gowns and lingerie in their living room.