For the first time in several years, serial rich-lister Bill Gates has slipped in a ranking of the world’s wealthiest people.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the legendary Microsoft co-founder has now dropped down to third place, behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and newcomer Bernard Arnault.
The Frenchman, who is the chairman and chief executive of the world’s largest luxury goods company, LVMH Moët Hennessy — Louis Vuitton SE, now has a $107.6 billion net worth.
His fortune now outstrips Mr Gates’ by “more than $200 million”, after he “added about $39 billion to his fortune in 2019 alone”, the publication reported.
It is easily the largest individual gain of the 500 people in Bloomberg’s ranking.
Mr Gates is now worth $107 billion, while Mr Bezos has risen to $125 billion. He has kept the top spot even after his shock split from wife MacKenzie, resulting in a massive settlement described as “the world’s most expensive divorce”.
However, Bloomberg also revealed Mr Gates would have remained in second place had he not donated so much to charity over the years.
He has donated more than $35 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and in 2010 he set up The Giving Pledge with wife Melinda and Warren Buffett to encourage the wealthiest people in the world to commit to donating at least half their wealth.
Mr Arnault, 70, is the richest person in Europe and is married to pianist Hélène Mercier.
The father of five and his family made headlines this year after pledging €200 million to help repair the Notre-Dame cathedral badly damaged in a massive fire.
Mr Gates recently made headlines after opening up about his “greatest mistake ever” — missing the boat on the opportunity Android ultimately seized.
“In the software world, particularly for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets,” Mr Gates said in a recent interview at venture capital company Village Global, according to The Verge.
“So the greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. That is, Android is the standard non-Apple phone platform.
“That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win. It really is winner take all. If you’re there with half as many apps or 90 percent as many apps, you’re on your way to complete doom.”
Mr Gates said that so-called failure was worth a fortune.
“There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system and what’s that worth? $400 billion that would be transferred from company G to company M,” The Verge reported Mr Gates as saying.