Forbes has published its traditional list of the richest people in the world for the year 2021.
It has been a year like no other and we are not talking about a pandemic. There have been quick public offers, a surge in cryptocurrencies, and a surge in stock prices. The number of billionaires on Forbes’ 35th annual list of the richest in the world has exploded to an all-time high, from 660 over a year ago to 2,755. Of these, a record 493 newcomers to the world. the list has been drawn up (around one new arrival every 17 hours, including 210 from China and Hong Kong). 250 others who had left the list in the past came back stronger than before. An incredible 86% are richer than a year ago.
Jeff Bezos is the richest in the world for the fourth consecutive year, with an estimated fortune of $ 177 billion, while Elon Musk rose to second place with $ 151 billion, while shares of Tesla and Amazon surged.
In total, these billionaires are worth 13.1 trillion (ed. 13 100 billion, not to be confused with 13.1 trillion in the English-speaking system which corresponds to 13.1 billion in French), against 8 trillion dollars in 2020. The The United States still has the most, at 724, followed by China (including Hong Kong and Macao) with 698. We used stock prices and March 5 exchange rates to calculate net worth.
Let’s take a look at the tech industry. In total, taking into account Elon Musk (who is not cited in the ranking as coming from the tech industry, but rather from the automotive industry), the tech industry now has 366 billionaires (against 242 the year last). Besides, the top 10 is almost entirely in this industry.
Stock markets have rebounded strongly from the pandemic, helping to propel the fortunes of the world’s billionaires to record levels. But no ultra-rich group has benefited like the tech billionaires (who are worth a total of $ 2.5 trillion on Forbes’ 2021 list of global billionaires, up about 80 percent from $ 1.4 trillion ago. is one year old).
This year, Forbes found 365 billionaires in tech, up from 241 last year. It is the industry that has the second largest number of billionaires after finance and investments (which has 371 billionaires). But the total fortunes of these ultra-rich far exceed that of any other industry. The collective net worth of $ 2.5 trillion of tech billionaires exceeds the total of $ 1.7 trillion for fashion and retail and the total of $ 1.5 trillion for fortunes made in the world. finance and investments.
One of the main reasons for the dominance of technology comes from the heaviest character on the list. The 20 richest tech titans alone are worth $ 1.2 trillion, or nearly 50% of the total net worth of all billionaires in their industry. And tech moguls make up 8 of the world’s 20 richest people, including 6 of the top 10.
While the United States is still home to most of the richest tech billionaires, China’s rapidly growing internet industry has propelled a new generation of tech moguls to the top. Of the 20 richest in technology today, 9 are from China, up from 6 last year.
Here is a ranking of the 10 richest billionaires in tech:
- Jeff Bezos (1is overall, USA, fortune of $ 177 billion, main source of Amazon fortune): The founder of Amazon will no longer be CEO at the end of the year. In February, Bezos announced he would step down in the third quarter of 2021 to focus on other projects, including his space company Blue Origin, the Washington Post and charitable initiatives such as the Amazon Day 1 Fund. In 2020, his $ 10 billion Bezos Earth Fund donated $ 791 million to 16 climate change nonprofits.
- Elon Musk (2e overall, USA, fortune of $ 151 billion, main source of fortune Tesla and SpaceX)
- Bill Gates (4e overall, USA, $ 124 billion fortune, main source of Microsoft fortune): Although Gates fell below the two richest people in the world for the first time on the Forbes billionaire list since 2008, this year marks the first time it has crossed the $ 100 billion mark. The Microsoft co-founder’s fortune increased by $ 26 billion, partly benefiting from a 66% increase in the company’s shares, as well as a surge in shares of tractor maker Deere & Co. In February, he reported. Forbes said he had donated $ 2 billion to organizations working for zero carbon missions.
- Mark Zuckerberg (5e overall, USA, fortune of $ 97 billion, main source of Facebook fortune): Facebook continues to be one of the main communication platforms during the pandemic, but has come under fire from criticism. Zuckerberg testified (virtually) in Congress last summer about potential violations of antitrust laws, and again in March about Facebook’s role in spreading information and extremism. The company was notably criticized for its role in planning the Capitol Hill riot on January 6. His philanthropic and rights organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, in December pledged $ 500 million to achieve racial equity.
- Larry Ellison (7e overall, USA, fortune of $ 93 billion, main source of wealth software): Ellison is a leading figure in the alleged technological exodus from the San Francisco Bay Area to new hot spots such as Texas and Florida. In his case, Oracle, the software company he co-founded in 1977, moved to Austin, Texas, while Ellison told his employees he was moving to Hawa. In 2012, the tycoon paid $ 300 million to buy the Hawaiian island of Lanai, which he turned into a health and wellness laboratory. A closer ally to Trump than most tech moguls, Ellison was also a central figure behind Oracle’s deal to acquire the U.S. operations of social networking app TikTok, though so far the agreement did not take place.
- Larry Page (8e overall, USA, fortune of $ 91.5 billion, main source of Google fortune)
- Sergei Brin (9th overall, USA, fortune of $ 89 billion, main source of Google fortune): The Google co-founders have stayed out of the spotlight since they moved away from executive control of the parent company of Google Alphabet at the end of 2019. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai appeared alongside Zuckerberg during Congress hearings in March and last summer. The couple still own more than 50% of Alphabet’s voting rights, which allows them to retain control over company decisions.
- Steve Ballmer (14e overall, USA, fortune of $ 68.7 billion, primary source of Microsoft fortune): Ballmer is America’s richest sports team owner, with a fortune he accumulated during his time at Microsoft , where he served as CEO from 2000 to 2014. His Los Angeles Clippers basketball team is set to break new ground on a new billion dollar arena this year, after Ballmer bought The Forum Inglewood for $ 400 million. dollars in 2020. Ballmer Group, a philanthropic organization he created with his wife, Connie, has donated $ 54 million to various Covid-19 relief projects over the past year.
- Ma Huateng (15e overall, China, fortune of $ 65.8 billion, main source of Internet media fortune): As with Facebook and Google in the United States, Chinese internet mogul Pony Ma faces pressure as his country original attempts to reduce the power of big tech companies. Shares of Tencent, chaired by Ma, fell steadily after peaking in January, as the company’s digital payments arm became a target of regulators. Nonetheless, Tencent’s strong performance, especially in its gaming business, has helped Ma consolidate his position as China’s richest tech mogul and second-richest person in China (behind billionaire Zhong Shanshan and 68, $ 9 billion).
- Colin Zheng Huang (21e in the general ranking, China, fortune of 55.3 billion dollars, main source of e-commerce fortune): The co-founder of the online discounter Pinduoduo was enriched by 38.8 billion dollars during the past year, his company became China’s largest e-commerce platform by active users in March, just six years after it was founded in 2015. In July, Huang stepped down as CEO; in March, he abruptly left his position as chairman and entrusted his voting rights to the board of directors. Huang told shareholders that he would focus his attention on research in food and life sciences.
Note that the former wife of Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott, appears after Colin Zheng Huang. She is the first woman to appear in the ranking of the richest in tech. Since receiving a quarter of Amazon stock from ex-husband Jeff Bezos as part of their divorce settlement in 2019, Scott has started giving it a scale and speed that surpasses all other American philanthropists. Last year, his charitable donations totaled $ 5.8 billion; Over a four-month period, she donated $ 4.1 billion to nearly 400 organizations providing relief to Americans during the pandemic. In March, it was revealed that Scott remarried after her new husband joined her for the Giving Pledge, which she originally signed in 2019.
Source : Forbes (1, 2)