With familiar names and now well-established entities on the list, the top two richest men in the world should come as no surprise to most. Inspiring, diligent and pioneers of the tech world, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates define the pinnacle of the era of technology.
Jeff Bezos – $129.9 billion
Former hedge fund manager and the founder and owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos was named by Forbes magazine as the richest man in history. After Amazon became the first company to be worth $1 trillion, reaching the market cap, Bezos became Forbes’ first centi-billionaire. Following an idea to establish an online bookstore in 1993, Bezos launched Amazon in 1994. With a $300,000 investment from his parents, the online bookstore was helped along. By 1998, the online bookstore had expanded into music and CDs. A period of aggressive expansion, through the purchase of small rivals, followed. The period of spending exacerbated a small financial crisis for the company, in which Bezos had to scale back and re-strategise. By 2003, Amazon rebounded. The launch of the Kindle in 2007 only boosted the company’s coffers. And, in 2013, after securing a major contract from the CIA, Amazon came to be recognised as the largest online shopping retailer in the world.
Bill Gates – $113.1 billion
Featuring highly on Forbes’ rich for more than two decades, the founder of Microsoft has either given away or sold much of his stake in the company. With just a 1% interest in the firm, Gates’ time is spent mostly on his philanthropic interests. Under the auspices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the tech-billionaire operates what is considered to be the world’s wealthiest charitable foundation, with assets worth $34.6 billion. In 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were recognised as the second most generous philanthropists in America, after giving up $28 billion to charity. The couple have expressed an intention to give 95% of their wealth to charity.