Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Top 20 Richest People in the World, Bill Gates is first

World's Billionaires 2009, William Gates III, Net Worth: $40 billion.

• Software visionary regains title as the world's richest man despite losing $18 billion in the past 12 months.
• Stepped down from day-to-day duties at Microsoft last summer to devote his talents and riches to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
• Organization's assets were $30 billion in January; annual letter lauds endowment manager Michael Larson for limiting last year's losses to 20%.
• Gates decided to increase donations in 2009 to $3.8 billion, up 15% from 2008.
• Dedicated to fighting hunger in developing countries, improving education in America's high schools and developing vaccines against malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS.
• Appointed Microsoft Office veteran Jeffrey Raikes chief executive of Gates Foundation in September. Gates remains Microsoft chairman. • Sells shares each quarter, redeploys proceeds via investment vehicle Cascade; more than half of fortune invested outside Microsoft.
• Stock down 45% in past 12 months.
• "Creative capitalist" wants companies to match profit making with doing good.

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