Here is the latest list of the world's top 20 Entrepreneur celebrities [Updated April 19, 2021].
June 1998 – $1 billion for the first time
June 1999 – $10 billion
July 2015 – $50 billion
January 2018 – $100 billion
July 2018 – $150 billion
September 2018 – $170 billion
January 2019 – Jeff announces he is divorcing his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie. Clearly the outcome of this divorce will have an enormous impact on Jeff's $150 billion net worth.
April 4, 2019 – Jeff and MacKenzie announced that they had reached an amicable resolution of their divorce where she will be given $36 billion worth of Amazon stock. Jeff will retain 75% of his former stake and will have voting control over MacKenzie's shares. She will not have any ownership in The Washington Post or Jeff's space company Blue Origin. It's unclear how the couple decided to split their various homes and jets. Jeff's net worth immediately following the announcement became $114 billion.
March 9, 2020 – $111 billion
July 1, 2020 – $172 billion
July 9, 2020 – $190 billion
August 26, 2020 – $202 billion
If you're keeping track, it took Jeff just three years to become a billionaire after launching in 1995. It took him 20 years to make $50 billion, but then only 2.5 years to make his second $50 billion, for a total of $100 billion. And then it only took 7 months to make his third $50 billion, for a total of $150 billion. And then he lost $36 billion in an instant with the stroke of a pen.
In the 20 years since Amazon went public, Bezos has sold at least $70 billion worth of his shares. He sells roughly $1 billion worth of shares every year as part of a planned stock sale arrangement.
The day Amazon went public, Amazon's stock topped out at $18 and Jeff was left with a net worth of $12 billion. At the peak of the dotcom bubble, Amazon stock topped $106 per share. After the bubble burst, Amazon's stock price sank to an all-time low of $5 per share in October of 2001. At that point, Jeff's net worth sank to $2 billion. At various times in recent history, a single share of Amazon traded for more than $2050. So, if you had been smart enough to take $10,000 and buy shares of Amazon in October of 2001, could have had $4.1 million before counting any dividends that they may have issued.
Bill Gates has sold at least $40 billion in Microsoft stock and collected over $12 billion in dividends since the company's IPO in 1986. He used that money to create the holding company Cascade Investment which has continued to grow and includes investments in companies such as Canadian National Railway and AutoNation. Gates is quite a philanthropist and donated a $3.3 billion payout he received in 2004 to his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He still has a 1.3 percent stake in Microsoft.
Facebook IPO'd on May 18, 2012, at roughly $38 dollars a share. Mark owns 400 million shares of Facebook. That means at the IPO he ended the day with a paper net worth of around $15 billion.
Mark has pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth during his lifetime. In September 2017 he announced a plan to regularly sell off chunks of his shares to fund his foundation, the CZI (Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative). His 2018 share sales generated $5.3 billion worth of proceeds. In 2019 he sold $1.86 billion worth of Facebook shares.
Mark Zuckerberg's salary is $1 per year. That is not a typo. Many executives like Zuckerberg choose to pay themselves low salaries in order to increase the company's profits as much as possible. When the company maximizes profits it increases the overall value of their stock holdings which is where the executive's true wealth comes from. Executives like Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin each earn only $1 per year in salary!
Elon Musk Net Worth Details: Elon Musk owns 54 percent of rocket maker SpaceX. Musk also owns 22 percent of car maker Tesla which includes 33 million shares and 2.1 million exercisable options. He has also pledged 11 million shares as collateral against his personal obligations. In January 2020, Elon's Tesla stake was worth $18 billion. Over the next two months alone, his Tesla stake doubled in value to $36 billion, bringing his overall net worth to $56 billion. That number soon retreated back down to around $40 billion, then $35 billion, then back up to $40 billion. When Tesla stock topped $1,300 per share in July 2020, Elon's net worth was $63 billion. When Tesla stock topped $1,500 per share on July 10, 2020, Elon's net worth broke $70 billion for the first time.
In a 2019 legal deposition, Musk explained that he actually is somewhat cash-poor and that 99% of his personal wealth is attributable to shares in Tesla and SpaceX. The lawsuit also revealed that Musk's base salary at Tesla is $56,380. He declines the salary in most years. Musk has $500 million worth of debt, $209 million of worth is owed to Morgan Stanley. At least $60 million of his Morgan Stanley debt is home mortgage-related. Roughly $213 million worth of his debt is owed to Goldman Sachs.
Nearly 50% of his Tesla shares are pledged as collateral to Goldman and Morgan Stanley. He reportedly burned through all of his liquid cash from previous business sales to launch SpaceX.
Real Estate Holdings: Elon owns at least $100 million worth of real estate in California. In the Northern California town of Hillsborough he owns a 100-year-old, 16,000 square-foot villa that sits on nearly 50-acres. He bought this house for $23.364 million in 2017. In Southern California he owns six homes in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel-Air. His Bel-Air footprint includes a 20,000 square-foot house that he bought for $17 million in 2012, a 7,000 square-foot house he bought for $20 million in 2015 and a 9,300 square-foot house he purchased in 2016 for $24.25 million.
Tesla Salary: Elon takes no salary as CEO of Tesla. He instead has a highly unusual and potentially extremely lucrative bonus plan tied to the company's market cap milestones. When the plan was forged, Tesla was worth around $50 billion. If and when Tesla reached a market cap of $100 billion – and held that value for six months, Elon would be given a bonus of just under $600 million. There are 12 total milestones based on $50 billion market cap increases. If Elon hits every single milestone (there is no time restriction), he has the ability to earn $100 billion in bonuses.
Bernard Arnault Net Worth Details: Arnault made most of his fortune from Christian Dior, which his family holds a 73 percent stake in. Christian Dior is a 41 percent owner in the world's largest luxury goods company, LVMH, which the Arnault family owns a 5.7 percent direct stake in. He also owns 8.4 percent of Hermes and shares in Carrefour. In 2009 he sold his stake in the winery Cheval Blanc to LVMH for 238 million euros. LVMH had revenue of $41.6 billion in 2016. In June of 2019 Bernard Arnault's net worth topped $100 billion for the first time. At that point he was the third-richest person on the planet. In July 2019, his net worth topped $108 billion which placed him as the second-richest person on the planet, roughly $400 million ahead of Bill Gates. From January to December 2019, Bernard Arnault's net worth increased by $36 billion.
Co-founded Google in 1998 alongside Sergey Brin. He became CEO of Google in 2011, replacing Eric Schmidt.
Larry Ellison Net Worth details: Today Ellison owns 22% of Oracle and has a net worth that tops $70 billion. He has pledged 315 million of his shares as collateral against lines of credit and personal debt. Since 2003 he has earned around $9 billion from Oracle stock sales and dividends.
Co-founded Google with Larry Page, a search engine that utilized their system of ranking websites based on incoming links. He eventually went on to lead Google X, an initiative which worked on unique projects, including self-driving cars.
Net Worth Details: Sergey Brin is perennially ranked as one of the richest and most powerful people on the planet. As of this writing, Sergey Brin owns roughly 6% of Alphabet, the parent company of Google among other businesses. since the company's IPO in 2004He has sold about $9 billion worth of shares of both Alphabet and Google. Brin owns Class B and Class C shares of Alphabet, including 19 million shares of Class C Alphabet stock. Google handles more than 3.5 billion daily searches and generates more than $130 billion in annual revenue.
Between 2012 and 2019 alone, Sergey's net worth rose from $12 billion to a peak of $60 billion. He holds equity stakes in electric car company Tesla and 23andMe. Larry and Sergey led a $40 million investment round in Tesla back in 2006. Brin was the fourth person to receive a Tesla Model X Crossover SUV.
Created a charitable foundation with her husband Bill Gates.
Daughter of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart.
Net Worth details: Pony Ma holds a 7.7 percent stake in the operator of China's largest instant-messaging service, Tencent Holdings. His stake is controlled through Advanced Data Services. Ma donated $2.3 billion worth of Tencent shares to a charitable foundation in 2016. He has $150 million of Hong Kong property as well as a painting purchased in 2013 at a charity event. In 2016 Tencent Holdings reported revenue of $16.4 billion.
Net Worth details: Kamprad is credited with the full value of the world's largest furniture retailer, Ikea. He controls Interogo Foundation, which controls the Ikea concept and trademarks. Ikea Group had $39 billion revenue in 2016. Kamprad's three sons own the family investment company Ikano. Ikea has 340 stores that sell nearly 10,000 products and almost 800 million store visits. Ikea Group also reported 4.2 billion euros in net income for 2016.