Forbes: Bill Gates still world's richest man

Forbes magazine released its list of the 400 wealthiest U.S. citizens Thursday, revealing that once again Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates has not only grabbed the top spot but is the world's richest man with a net worth of US$46 billion.

Shaking off a macroeconomic slowdown, the war in Iraq and legal scrutiny of his software empire, Gates managed to increase his personal fortune by US$3 billion over his net worth of US$43 billion on the 2002 list.

Forbes' editors pinned Gates' success on his Windows operating system's hold on the market, running on 94 percent of desktop computers, as well as Microsoft's ambition to move beyond PCs to TVs, cell phones, cars and wristwatches. Forbes also said that Gates is "methodically diversifying" -- selling off 20 million Microsoft shares a quarter and then reinvesting the money.

Gates' financial savvy apparently didn't rub off on Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Ballmer, however. Ballmer fell from number 10 on last year's list to number 11 after being squeezed out by Dell Inc. Chairman and CEO Michael Dell.

In an impressive show of money-making, Dell moved from number 11 on last year's list to number 10 this year with a personal fortune of US$13 billion, exceeding Ballmer's 2003 list net worth of US$12.2 billion. The Forbes editors speculated that Dell's leapfrogging abilities were due to his personal attitude that his company hunts rather than is hunted.

But Microsoft executives still made a strong showing on the Forbes list, with Microsoft cofounder Paul Gardner Allen keeping hold of the number-three spot, with a net worth of US$22 billion. The Washington State University drop-out managed to increase his personal fortune by US$1 billion over last year.

Allen still has a way to go before overtaking Forbes' number-two richest Warren Edward Buffet, however. The Berkshire Hathaway Inc. head has a personal war chest of US$36 billion.

Other wealthy tech industry players on the list included Oracle Corp. Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison, who came in at number nine with a net worth of US$18 billion; eBay Inc. founder Pierre Omidyar, who landed number 29 with US$6.9 billion, and Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos who came in at number 32 with US$5.1 billion.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?