Who’s Up, Who’s Down From Forbes’ Billionaires List?
Forbe’s 29th annual Billionaires List was announced. After checking to see if we finally made the grade—we didn’t; so disappointing, especially after getting shut out at the Oscars—we examined the list to see about who’s up, who’s down and the fate of the Chocolate King …
WINNER: BRICK AND MORTAR
As you’d expect, technology is well-represented on the list, whether it’s Bill Gates ($79.2 billion) coming in at No. 1, Larry Ellison ($54.3) at No. 5 or No. 16 Mark Zuckerberg ($33.4) finally breaking the top 20—because, you know, that kid really deserves to catch a break now and then—seven of the top 35 call tech their home industry. But tech is topped by good ol’ fashioned retail which placed nine billionaires in the top 35, led by Spain’s Amancio Ortega ($64.5) who owns clothing giant Zara and Sam Walton’s kids who own Wal-Mart.
LOSER: ALIKO DANGOTE
Owing to weaker demand for cement, his main business, Nigeria’s Dangote ($14.7) lost more than $10 billion in worth, the biggest drop in personal currency this side of Pete Carroll’s coaching acumen.
There are now 46 billionaires under the age of 40, the richest being Zuckerberg and the youngest being Evan Spiegel ($1.5), 24, co-founder of Snapchat which apparently is something you get rich from now … THIS COUNTRY USED TO MAKE STEEL!
LOSER: THE CHOCOLATE KING
It’s hard to feel bad for someone worth hundreds of millions, but your heart has to kinda ache for Petro Poroschenko’s 2014. The confection tycoon, nicknamed “The Chocolate King,” was one of 138 people to fall off the list and that wasn’t the worst thing that happened to him. Poroschenko is also President of Ukraine.
WINNER: ALIKO DANGOTE
Even having lost nearly half his fortune, Dangote remains the richest man in Africa.
Driven by the perpetual motion machine that is Silicon Valley, California produced 23 new billionaires including Elizabeth Holmes, who heads blood-testing firm Theranos and is the youngest self-made woman on the list. Holmes is 31. California now has 131 individuals worth at least $1 billion, more than any other country except China and the U.S.
As one would figure, oil billionaires didn’t fare well. In fact, the highest ranked energy producer was China’s Li Hejun ($21.1) at No. 38, and his business is solar equipment. And, as one would figure, the oil drop didn’t do much for Russia which now has 88 billionaires, down from 111 last year and now fewer than not only the U.S. and China but Germany and India.
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