1. Bill Gates
Net Worth: $40 billion
Fortune: self made
Citizenship: United States
Residence: Medina, Washington
Education: Harvard University (Drop Out)
William Henry "Bill" Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American
business magnate, philanthropist, author, and chairman of Microsoft, the
software company he founded with Paul Allen.He is ranked consistently
one of the world's wealthiest people and the wealthiest overall in different
ranking list as of 2009. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the
positions of CEO and Chief Software Architect, and remains the largest
individual shareholder with more than 8 percent of the common stock. He
has also authored or co-authored several books.
Time magazine named Gates as one of the 100 most influential people
of 2004, 2005, and 2006. Time also collectively named Gates, his wife
Melinda and alternative rock band U2's lead singer Bono as the 2005
Persons of the Year for their humanitarian efforts. In 2006, he was voted
eighth in the list of "Heroes of our time". Gates was listed in the Sunday
Times Power list in 1999, named CEO of the year by Chief Executive
Officers magazine in 1994, ranked number one in the "Top 50 Cyber Elite"
by Time in 1998, ranked number two in the Upside Elite 100 in 1999
and was included in The Guardian as one of the "Top 100 influential
people in media" in 2001. And consistently ranked by Forbes as well.
Gates Authored two books:
1. The Road Ahead (1995)
2. Business @ the Speed of Thought (1999)
Gates Charity Work: Gates decided to increase donations in 2009 to $3.8
billion, up 15% from 2008. Dedicated to fighting hunger in developing
countries, improving education in America's high schools and developing
vaccines against malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. Appointed Microsoft
Office veteran Jeffrey Raikes Chief Exec. of Gates Foundation in
Bill Gates first achievement was the development of a programming
language called BASIC for the Altair computer which is the first
commercially successful personal computer.
2. Warren Buffett
Net Worth: $37 billion
Fortune: self made
Source: Berkshire Hathaway
Citizenship: United States
Residence: Omaha, Nebraska
Education: University of Nebraska Lincoln, Bachelor of
Arts/Science, Columbia University, Master of Science
Warren Edward Buffett (born August 30, 1930) is an American investor,
businessman, and philanthropist. He is one of the world's most successful
investors, the largest shareholder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and is
consistently ranked by Forbes as one of the richest persons in the world
with an estimated net worth of approximately 37 billion dollars.
In 1943, Buffett filed his first income tax return, deducting his bicycle and
watch as a work expense for $35 for his work as newspaper delivery boy.
Buffett is also a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away 85%
of his fortune to the Gates Foundation. He also serves as a member of the
board of trustees at Grinnell College.
In 1999, Buffett was named the top money manager of the twentieth
century in a survey by the Carson Group, ahead of Peter Lynch and John
Templeton, and in 2007, he was listed among Time's 100 Most Influential
People in the world.
Last year America's most beloved investor was the world's richest man
according to Forbes list of Billionaire. This year he has to settle for second
place after losing $25 billion in 12 months. Shares of Berkshire Hathaway
were down 45% since last March. Injected billions of dollars into Goldman
Sachs, GE in exchange for preferred stock last fall; propped up insurance
firm Swiss Re in February with $2.6 billion infusion. Admits he made some
"dumb" investment mistakes in 2008.
In 1973, Berkshire began to acquire stock in the Washington Post
Company. Buffett became close friends with Katharine Graham, who
controlled the company and its flagship newspaper, and became a
member of its board of directors.
In 1974, the SEC opened a formal investigation into Warren Buffett and
Berkshire's acquisition of WESCO, due to possible conflict of interest. No
charges were brought.
In 1977, Berkshire indirectly purchased the Buffalo Evening News for
$32.5 million. Antitrust charges started, instigated by its rival, the Buffalo
Courier-Express. Both papers lost money, until the Courier-Express folded
In 1979, Berkshire began to acquire stock in ABC. Capital Cities'
announced $3.5 billion purchase of ABC on March 18, 1985, surprising the
media industry, as ABC was some four times bigger than Capital Cities
was at the time. Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett helped
financed the deal in return for a 25 percent stake in the combined
company. The newly merged company, known as Capital Cities/ABC (or
CapCities/ABC), was forced to sell off some stations due to FCC ownership
rules. Also, the two companies owned several radio stations in the same
In 1987, Berkshire Hathaway purchased 12% stake in Salomon Inc.,
making it the largest shareholder and Buffett the director. In 1990, a
scandal involving John Gutfreund (former CEO of Salomon Brothers)
surfaced. A rogue trader, Paul Mozer, was submitting bids in excess of
what was allowed by the Treasury rules. When this was discovered and
brought to the attention of Gutfreund, he did not immediately suspend
the rogue trader. Gutfreund left the company in August 1991. Buffett
became CEO of Salomon until the crisis passed; on September 4, 1991,
he testified before Congress.
In 1988, Buffett began buying stock in Coca-Cola Company, eventually
purchasing up to 7 percent of the company for $1.02 billion. It would turn
out to be one of Berkshire's most lucrative investments, and one which it
still holds. In 2002, Buffett entered in $11 billion worth of forward
contracts to deliver U.S. dollars against other currencies. By April 2006,
his total gain on these contracts was over $2 billion.
In 1998, he acquired General Re, (in a rare move, for stock). In 2002,
Buffett became involved with Maurice R. Greenberg at AIG, with General
Re providing reinsurance. On March 15, 2005, AIG's board forced
Greenberg to resign from his post as Chairman and CEO under the
shadow of criticism from Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General of the state of
New York. On February 9, 2006, AIG and the New York State Attorney
General's office agreed to a settlement in which AIG would pay a fine of
In 2009, Warren Buffett invested $2.6 billion as a part of Swiss Re's
raising equity capital. Berkshire Hathaway already owns a 3% stake, with
rights to own more than 20%.
3. Carlos Slim Helú
Net Worth: $35 billion
Fortune: self made
Education: Civil Engineering from the National
Autonomous University of Mexico
CARLOS SLIM HELú
Carlos Slim Helú (born January 28, 1940) is a Mexican businessman and
philanthropist largely focused on the telecommunications industry. He had
net worth of around US $35 billion through his holdings.
Slim has a substantial influence over the telecommunications industry in
Mexico and much of Latin America. He is Chairman and CEO of Telmex,
Telcel and América Móvil companies. Though he maintains an active
involvement in his companies, his three sons — Carlos, Marco Antonio and
Patrick Slim Domit — head them on a day-to-day basis.
On March 11, 2009, Forbes ranked Slim as the world's third-richest
person, behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and ahead of Lawrence
Ellison. Since last year Slim lost US$25 billion.
On March 5, 2008, Forbes ranked Slim as the world's second-richest
person, behind Warren Buffett and ahead of Bill Gates. During some parts
of 2007, several major financial publications had ranked Slim as the
richest person on Earth.
On August 8, 2007, Fortune reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as
the world's richest man. Slim's estimated fortune soared to US $68 billion,
based on the value of his public holdings at the end of July. Gates' net
worth was estimated to be at least US$58 billion.
On August 4, 2007, The Wall Street Journal ran a cover story profiling
Slim. The article said, "While the market value of his stake in publicly
traded companies could decline at any time, at the moment he is probably
wealthier than Bill Gates". On March 29, 2007, Slim surpassed Warren
Buffett as the world's second richest person with an estimated net worth
of US $53.1 billion compared to Buffett's US $52.4 billion. According to
The Wall Street Journal, Slim credits part of his ability to discover
investment opportunities early to the writings of his friend, futurist author
Bought fixed line operator Telmex in 1990; now controls 90% of Mexico's
telephone landlines. Slim has the stake of $16 billion in America Movil,
Latin America's largest mobile phone company with 173 million
customers. America Movil and Telmex reportedly planning to jointly invest
$4 billion to bolster telecom infrastructure in Latin America.
Achievements and Directorship
Slim has been Vice-President of the Mexican Stock Exchange and
President of the Mexican Association of Brokerage Houses. He was the
first President of the Latin- American Committee of the New York Stock
Exchange Administration Council, and was in office from 1996 to 1998.
He was on the Board of Directors of the Altria Group and Alcatel. Slim
currently sits on the Board of Directors for Philip Morris International. He
was on the Board of Directors of SBC Communications until July 2004 to
devote more time to the World Education & Development Fund, which
focused on infrastructure, health and education projects. In 1997, just
before the company introduced its iMac line, Slim bought three percent of
Apple Computer's stock, which has skyrocketed over the years.
He built the large Mexican financial-industrial conglomerate Grupo Carso
which owns, among other companies, the now bankrupt CompUSA
electronic retail chain. On December 8, 2007, Grupo Carso announced
that the remaining 103 CompUSA stores would be either liquidated or
sold, bringing an end to the struggling company.
Slim is said to have shown an interest in buying the Honda Formula One
team. Slim would overtake the billionaire owner of Force India, Vijay
Mallya, to become the richest team owner.
Additionally, Slim has recently made it known in the Mexican press that
he will soon announce his intentions to acquire a Major League Soccer
franchise to be located in Queens, New York that will initially be set up in
the second-tier United Soccer Leagues.
Net Worth: $22.5 billion
Fortune: self made
Source: Oracle Corporation
Citizenship: United States
Residence: Redwood City, California
Education: University of Illinois, Drop Out
"Larry" Ellison (born August 17, 1944) is an American entrepreneur and
the co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation which has employee
strength of 85000. Ellison is currently listed on Forbes list of billionaires
as the 4th richest person and the 3rd richest American in the world as of
March 11, 2009. Ellison owns 22.59% of Oracle Corporation. His shares
are worth between $ 20-25 billion.
Oracle was established in 1977 and has offices in more than 145 countries
around the world. Larry Ellison has served as Oracle's CEO for several
years. Ellison was inspired by the paper written by Edgar Codd on
relational database systems named A Relational Model of Data for Large
Shared Data Banks. He had heard about the IBM System R database, also
based on Codd's theories, and wanted Oracle to be compatible with it, but
IBM stopped this by keeping the error codes for their DBMS secret. Ellison
founded Oracle in 1977 under the name Software Development
Laboratories. In 1979 SDL changed its name to Relational Software, Inc.
(RSI). In 1983, RSI was renamed Oracle Corporation to more closely align
itself with its flagship product Oracle database with Howard Johns as
Oracle acquired the following companies:
Darwin - June 1999
Steltor - June 2002
Collaxa - June 2004
PeopleSoft - January 2005 - Enterprise applications
Oblix - March 2005 - Identity management solutions
Retek - April 2005 - retail solution
TripleHop - June 2005
TimesTen - June 2005
ProfitLogic - July 2005
Context Media - July 2005
iflex-India - August 2005 - Banking industry
G-Log - September 2005 -
Innobase - October 2005 - transactional open source database
management system called InnoDB
Thor Technologies - November 2005 –
OctetString - November 2005
TempoSoft - December 2005
360Commerce - January 2006
Siebel - January 2006
Sleepycat - February 2006
Net4Call - April 2006
Demantra - June 2006 - Demand-driven planning solutions
Telephony@Work - June 2006 - CRM applications provider to unify IPbased
contact center technology and CRM software to deliver a
complete "customer to agent" experience
Sigma Dynamics - August 2006 - leverage the insight contained in
both historical and real-time data sources to drive better decisions in
practically any situation
Sunopsis - October 2006 - high-performance, next-generation data
integration capabilities. See Oracle Data Integrator
MetaSolv Software - October 2006 - key business processes of the
Stellent - November 2006 - content management solution
SPL WorldGroup - November 2006 - packaged solution to meet the
unique needs of the utilities industry
Hyperion - March 2007 - enterprise performance management
Tangosol - March 2007 - extreme transaction processing
AppForge - April 2007 - mobile applications
LODESTAR - April 2007 - utilities applications, meter data management
and energy operation solutions
Agile - May 2007 - Enterprise Product Life Cycle Management Software
Bridgestream Inc - September 2007 - Enterprise Role Management and
Interlace Systems - November 2007 - Enterprise Performance
Management (EPM) software
BEA Systems, Inc - January 2008 - Middleware provider (Tuxedo,
Captovation - January 2008 - Document capture software
Empirix (Web) - March 2008 - Web application testing software
Skywire Software - June 2008 - Insurance software
Global Knowledge Software - July 2008 - Technical Writing/Training
ClearApp - Application management solutions for composite
Primavera Systems - October 2008 - Project Portfolio Management
Haley Limited - October 2008 - Policy modeling and automation
SUN Microsystems - April 2009 - Solaris OS, Java and MySQL
Net Worth: $22.0 billion
Fortune: self made
Marital Status: married, 4 children
Ingvar Feodor Kamprad (born March 30, 1926) is a Swedish entrepreneur
who is the founder of the home furnishing retail chain IKEA. As of 2009 he
is the richest person in Europe and the 5th wealthiest person in the world
according to Forbes magazine, with an estimated net worth of around
US $22 billion.
Ingvar Kamprad was born on a farm called Elmtaryd (now spelled
Älmtaryd), near the small village of Agunnaryd in Ljungby Municipality in
the province of Småland, Sweden. Kamprad began to develop a business
as a young boy, selling matches to neighbors from his bicycle. He found
that he could buy matches in bulk very cheaply from Stockholm, sell them
individually at a low price and still make a good profit. From matches, he
expanded to selling fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds and later
ballpoint pens and pencils. When Kamprad was 17, his father gave him a
reward for succeeding in his studies. He used this money to establish
what has grown into IKEA.
Kamprad has admitted that his dyslexia played a large part in the inner
workings of the company. For example, the Swedish-sounding names of
the furniture sold by IKEA were originally chosen by Kamprad because he
had difficulty remembering numeral stock-keeping units.
Kamprad drives a 15 year old Volvo, flies only economy class, and
encourages IKEA employees to always write on both sides of a paper. In
addition Kamprad has been known to visit IKEA for a cheap meal. He is
also known to buy Christmas paper and presents in the post-Christmas
sales. While Kamprad's frugality is well documented, it is also an
important part of the carefully managed image presented to IKEA
employees and the general public. He less frequently mentions that he
owns a villa in an upmarket part of Switzerland, a large country estate in
Sweden and a vineyard in Province in France or that he drove a Porsche
for several years.
The Birth of IKEA:
IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943. The acronym IKEA is
made up of the initials of his name (Ingvar Kamprad) plus those of
Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born; and the nearby village
Ikano was originally a part of the home furnishing company IKEA. During
the 1970´s the Ikano activities involved managing real estate, financial
services and insurances for IKEA. In 1988, Ikano became an independent
group of companies, owned by the Kamprad family.
The Ikano Group today
Today the Ikano Group owns and develops competitive and profitable
niche companies in the areas of finance, real estate, asset management,
insurance and retail.
Ikano's strength is distinguished by working together to create long-term
solutions based on fair terms that brings value to our customers, partners
and to ourselves. The Ikano Group operates in Europe and Asia.
Net Worth: $21.5 billion
Fortune: self made
Residence: Mulheim An Der Ruhr
Marital Status: married, 2 children
(12) of (16)
Karl Hans Albrecht (born 20 February 1920) is a German entrepreneur
who founded the discount supermarket chain Aldi with his brother Theo.
He is ranked 6th among the richest men in the world, with an estimated
net worth in 2009 of $21.5 billion according to Forbes Magazine.
Albrecht is the wealthiest man in Germany. He has parlayed his wealth via
Standby Letters of Credit cut off of Deutsche Bank.
Biography and about Aldi
Karl and Theo Albrecht were raised in modest
circumstances in Essen. Their father was employed as a
miner and later as a baker's assistant. Their mother had a
small grocery store in the worker's quarter of
Schonnebeck. Theo completed an apprenticeship in his
mother's store, while Karl worked in a delicatessen shop.
Karl also served in the German Army during World War II.
After the end of World War II, the brothers took over their
mother's business (1946). The first Aldi (Albrecht-Discount) was opened
Aldi's operations were later divided between the brothers, with Karl taking
control of the stores in southern Germany, plus the rights to the brand in
the U.K., Australia and the U.S., and Theo managing Aldi Nord (North).
He is a fan of golf, and plays at his personal golf course, the Öschberghof,
which he built in 1976. He also raises orchids. It is rumored that he
collects antique typewriters.
In 1994, Karl Albrecht removed himself from the daily operations of Aldi
Süd and took the position of Chairman of the board. At the beginning of
2002, he also relinquished this position, thereby completely ceding control
of the firm. Today, the business is no longer run by any of Karl Albrecht's
Aldi has more than 7,000 stores worldwide. Most of the items sold are
exclusive own brands. Thats why, you're not paid an inflated price merely
for the name of a product – it's quality, after all, that counts. Equally nofuss
presentation of their goods.
Net Worth: $19.5 billion
Fortune: inherited and growing
Education: University of Bombay, Bachelor of Arts / Science,
Stanford University, Drop Out
Marital Status: married, 3 children
Mukesh D. Ambani is a Chemical Engineer from the University of Bombay.
He is the son of Shri Dhirubhai H. Ambani, Chairman of the Reliance
Industries. Mukesh Ambani joined Reliance in 1981 and initiated
Reliance's backward integration from textiles into polyester fibres and
further into petrochemicals, petroleum refining and oil and gas
exploration and production. In this process, he directed the creation of
several new world-class manufacturing facilities involving diverse
technologies that have raised Reliance's petrochemicals manufacturing
capacities from less than a million tonnes to about twenty million tonnes
Mukesh Ambani directed and led the creation of the world's largest
grassroots petroleum refinery at Jamnagar, India, with a current capacity
of 660,000 barrels per day (33 million tonnes per year) integrated with
petrochemicals, power generation, port and related infrastructure.
Mukesh Ambani had set up one of the largest and most complex
information and communications technology initiative in the world in the
form of Reliance Infocomm Limited (now Reliance Communications
Mukesh Ambani is also steering Reliance's initiatives in a world scale,
offshore, deep water oil and gas exploration and production program,
setting up of a second petroleum refinery at Jamnagar, development of
infrastructure facilities and implementation of a pan-India organized retail
network spanning multiple formats and supply chain infrastructure.
Mukesh Ambani's accolades include:
Bestowed the US-India Business Council (USIBC) 'Global Vision' 2007
Award for Leadership in 2007.
Invited to be a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development (WBCSD). He is the only Indian CEO to be a Council
Member of WBCSD.
Conferred 'ET Business Leader of the Year' Award by The Economic
Times (India) in the year 2006.
Conferred the Degree Honoris Causa, Honorary Doctorate by the
Maharaja Sayajirao University in 2007.
Conferred the India Business Leadership Award by CNBC-TV18 in
Received the first NDTV-Profit 'Global Indian Leader Award' from
Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Manmohan Singh in New Delhi in
the year 2006.
Had the distinction and honour of being the cochair at the World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Ranked 42nd among the 'World's Most Respected Business Leaders' and
second among the four Indian CEOs featured in a survey conducted by
Pricewaterhouse Coopers and published in Financial Times, London, in
Conferred the World Communication Award for the 'Most Influential
Person' in Telecommunications by Total Telecom, in October, 2004.
Conferred the 'Asia Society Leadership Award' by the Asia Society,
Washington D.C., USA, in May, 2004.
Mukesh Ambani is a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Trade
and Industry, Government of India and the Board of Governors of the
National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi.
He is the member of the Indo-US CEOs Forum, the International
Advisory Board of Citigroup, International Advisory Board of the
National Board of Kuwait and McKinsey Advisory Council.
He is the Chairman, Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of
Management, Bangalore and a member of the Advisory Council of the
Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. He is also a member of the
Advisory Council for the Graduate School of Business of the Stanford
Net Worth: $19.3 billion
Fortune: inherited and growing
Education: St Xavier's College Calcutta, Bachelor of
Marital Status: married, 2 children
Lakshmi Narayan Mittal also known as Lakshmi Niwas Mittal is a billionaire
industrialist, born in Rajasthan, India in 1950. Lakshmi graduated from
St. Xavier's College in Calcutta where he received a Bachelor of
Commerce degree. He later married Usha Mittal, and had a son and
Mittal began his career working in the family's steelmaking business in
India, and has over 30 years of experience working in steel and related
industries. Mittal founded the company Mittal Steel (formerly the LNM
Group) in 1976 and has been responsible for the development of its
businesses ever since. The company ArcelorMittal was formed in 2006 by
the merger of Arcelor and Mittal Steel, it is the largest steel company in
the world, with 326,000 employees in more than 60 countries.
ArcelorMittal is a market leader in automotive, construction, household
appliances and packaging. It holds sizeable captive supplies of raw
materials and operates extensive distribution networks. ArcelorMittal is
listed on the stock exchanges of New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels,
Luxembourg and on the Spanish stock exchanges of Barcelona, Bilbao,
Madrid and Valencia
Mittal is an active philanthropist and a member of a few trusts. Mittal is a
member of the Foreign Investment Council in Kazakhstan, the
International Investment Council in South Africa, the World Economic
Forum's International Business Council and the International Iron and
Steel Institute's Executive Committee. He is a Director of ICICI Bank
Limited and is on the Advisory Board of the Kellogg School of
Management in the U.S. In March 2009, Forbes Magazine named him the
8th richest man in the world and the richest non-American, with an
estimated wealth of US $25 billion.
He is one of the wealthiest person in Britain. His house in Kensington,
bought in 2004 for $128 million is the most expensive house ever
purchased till that date. He also paid upwards of $55 million to host his
daughter's wedding celebration in Versailles in 2004.
2008: Padma Vibhushan
2007: Bessemer Gold Medal
2006: Person of the Year - Financial Times
2004: European Businessman of the Year - Fortune magazine
1998: Willy Korf Steel Vision Award - American Metal Market and
PaineWeber's World Steel Dynamics
1996: Steelmaker of the Year - New Steel