Press "Enter" to skip to content

How did the richest people in the world get rich?

by Gabriele Guglielmi, Filcams Cgil International Policies Coordinator and OpenCorporation

The “greats” of the planet are gathered in Davos, this year because of the pandemic only virtually, for the World Economic Forum and on this occasion, as every year Oxfam  raises the curtain on inequality.

The Oxfam 2021 campaign is “The inequality virus: bringing together a world torn apart by coronavirus through a fair, just and sustainable economy

On the occasion of the WEF 2020, Oxfam presented a study in which it denounced that: “Global inequality is still growing. An elite group of 2,153 millionaires holds more wealth than the assets of 4.6 billion people, while the poorest half of the population has less than 1%. And the wealth of the 22 wealthiest people exceeds the wealth of all women on the African continent.”

Bloomberg, but also others for example Forbes, constantly measure the wealth of the top 500 billionaires, In December Elon Musk overtook Jeff Bezos at the top spot.

OpenCorporation  conducted an analysis of the top 50, all of whom boast personal wealth of at least $25 billion:

Among these there are 25 between 25 and 50 billion dollars, 20 between 50 and 100 billion and 5, those with assets in excess of 100 billion dollars, except Arnault, are mostly at the head of technology companies;

  • 41 males and 9 females, including Jobs’ widow and Bezos’ ex-wife. The gender gap is also evident in this context;
  • 24 are American, 9 Chinese, 5 French, 2 Indian … only one Italian.

Thanks to OpenCorporation  it is now also possible to re-read these numbers from a different point of view and also to have some more answers to frequently asked questions:

  • How did they become the richest people in the world?
  • What is the company that has allowed them to amass so much wealth?
  • … and how does that company deal with its employees, with the planet, with consumers?  

Many answers are already in this table with the link to the company sheet OpenCorporation

*if you see the table from a smartphone, horizontal viewing is recommended

Rank BloombergNameSexCountryCompany
(Fonte OpenCorporation)
1Elon R MuskMUSSPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGIES CORP
2Jeff BezosMUSAMAZON.COM, INC.
3Bill GatesMUSMICROSOFT CORPORATION
4Bernard ArnaultMFRLVMH MOET HENNESSY LOUIS VUITTON
5Mark ZuckerbergMUSFACEBOOK, INC.
6Warren BuffettMUSBERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.
7Larry PageMUSALPHABET INC.
8Steve BallmerMUSMICROSOFT CORPORATION
9Sergey BrinMUSGOOGLE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
10Larry EllisonMUSORACLE CORP
11Mukesh AmbaniMINRELIANCE INDUSTRIES LIMITED
12Francoise Bettencourt MeyersFFRL’OREAL
13Zhong ShanshanMCNNONGFU SPRING CORPORATION LIMITED
14Amancio OrtegaMESINDUSTRIA DE DISENO TEXTIL SA (INDITEX)
15Rob WaltonMUSWALMART INC.
16Jim WaltonMUSWALMART INC.
17Alice WaltonFUSWALMART INC.
18MacKenzie ScottFUSAMAZON.COM, INC.
19Charles KochMUSKOCH CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY GROUP LIMITED (KOCH INDUSTRIES INC)
20Julia Flesher KochFUSKOCH CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY GROUP LIMITED (KOCH INDUSTRIES INC)
21Pony MaMCNTENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED
22Carlos SlimMMXGRUPO CARSO S.A.B. DE C.V.
23Colin HuangMCNPINDUODUO INCORPORATED
24Phil KnightMUSNIKE INC
25Jack MaMCNALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED
26Francois PinaultMFRKERING
27Tadashi YanaiMJPFAST RETAILING CO LTD
28Jacqueline MarsFUSMARS INC
29John MarsMUSMARS INC
30Michael DellMUSDELL, INC.
31Laurene Powell JobsFUSAPPLE INC.
32Alain WertheimerMFRCHANEL LIMITED
33Gerard WertheimerMFRCHANEL LIMITED
34Len BlavatnikMUSJONT STOCK COMPANY RUSAL BRATSK ALUMINIUM SMELTER
35He XiangjianMCNMIDEA GROUP COMPANY LIMITED
36Dan GilbertMUSTHIRD ROCK VENTURES LLC
37Giovanni FerreroMITFERRERO – SOCIETA’ PER AZIONI
38Sheldon AdelsonMUSLAS VEGAS SANDS CORP.
39Gautam AdaniMINADANI ENTERPRISES LIMITED
40Li Ka-ShingMHKCHEUNG KONG (HOLDINGS) LIMITED
41Pang KangFCNFOSHAN HAITIAN FLAVOURING AND FOOD COMPANY LIMITED
42Takemitsu TakizakiMJPKEYENCE CORPORATION
43Lei JunMCNXIAOMI INC.
44Vladimir PotaninMRULIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY HOLDING COMPANY INTERROS
45William DingMCNNETEASE INCORPORATED
46Yang HuiyanFCNCOUNTRY GARDEN HOLDINGS COMPANY LIMITED
47Goh Cheng LiangMSGNIPPON PAINT HOLDINGS CO LTD
48Gina RinehartFAUHANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LIMITED
49Zeng YuqunMHKCONTEMPORARY AMPEREX TECHNOLOGY COMPANY LIMITED
50Leonard LauderMUSESTEE LAUDER COMPANIES INC. (THE)

Comments are closed.