Bill Gates is still richest man in the US: Forbes

Last Updated 23 September 2010, 05:55 IST

Industrialist Warren Buffett, Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, has bagged the second place this year with fortunes worth USD 45 billion. While worth USD 27 billion dollars, software company Oracle's co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison is the third richest American.

Among others in the list, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg ranks 35th with a net worth of USD 6.9 billion.

Zuckerberg is richer than Apple's boss Steve Jobs and media mogul Oprah Winfrey. Jobs comes 42nd on the list with a net worth of USD 6.1 billion while Winfrey is on the 130th position with total valuation of USD 2.7 billion.

The list also names four Indian Americans - Syntel's Bharat Desai (rank 252), venture capitalist Kavitark Ram Shriram (288), software mogul Romesh Wadhwani (290) and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla (308) - among the 400 richest people in the US.
Commenting on Gates, who has topped Forbes 400 list for the 17th consecutive year, the publication said Gates "is not (just) the world's richest man... he is the most generous person on the planet." Till date, the "software king" has cut cheques totalling USD 28 billion.

Most of his donations have passed through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which now has a USD 33 billion endowment, including contributions from his "buddy and bridge partner Warren Buffett". Gates' stake in the company, he co-founded, is now worth USD 16 billion.

"Gates regularly sells shares in the software giant, pouring proceeds into investment outfit Cascade, which accounts for 70 per cent of his wealth." Other investments include trash-collector Republic Services, investment firm Gamco, AutoNation and an inflation-hedging fund, Forbes said.

Gates and Buffett are coaxing America's richest to pledge half their fortunes to charity.
"You keep making the list, I'll keep milking it," Forbes quoted Buffett as saying.
Buffett plans to give away 99 per cent of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and his children, and it all has to be spent 10 years after he's gone, Forbes added.Forbes said the net worth of its rich list climbed 8 per cent this year to USD 1.4 trillion compared to USD 1.27 trillion last year. Wealth rose for 217 members in the list, while 85 saw a decline

 The publication said, 16 new members joined the list this year, thanks to "inheritance, appreciation and big buyouts" while 34 people fell off the list, including Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund, who is facing 185 years in prison.

Despite recession, finance and investment industries dominated the list with 55 members hailing from the finance industry and 54 from the investments sector.The top 10 on the list gained USD 24.9 billion. The price of admission to the list is back to USD one billion this year, up from 2009 when USD 950 million was enough to make the top 400.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was ranked 10th with a net worth of USD 18 billion. Bloomberg, 68, is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Computer-maker Dell's Chief Executive Michael Dell ranked 15th with USD 14 billion, followed by Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer, who ranked 16th with USD 13.1 billion of net worth.

News Corp's Rupert Mudroch is 38th on the rich list with USD 6.2 billion.
Others making it to the list include Google's CEO Eric Schmidt (rank 48) with a net worth of USD 5.45 billion, film maker Steven Spielberg (rank 110) with a USD three billion net worth and business tycoon Donald Trump (rank 153) worth of USD 2.4 billion.
Among the Indian Americans making it to the list include outsourcing and IT company Syntel's Founder and Chairman Bharat Desai. Desai and family ranks 252 on the list with a net worth of USD 1.6 billion.

The 57-year old IIT Bombay alumnus, Desai, founded Syntel in 1980 with wife, Neerja Sethi. He, who stepped down as Syntel's Chief Executive last year but remains Chairman, says his biggest failure has been "not being able to play cricket for India."

On the 288th position is venture capitalist and one of the founding board members of Google, Kavitark Ram Shriram with a USD 1.45 billion net worth."Shriram was one of the first people to write a cheque to Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1998. Today he is still a board member and large shareholder of the search giant," Forbes said.
On the 290th spot is Romesh T Wadhwani with a net worth of USD 1.4 billion. He is the founder, Chairman & CEO of Symphony Technology Group, a private equity firm investing in software and software services companies.

An IIT Mumbai alumnus, Wadhwani re-branded his main company Information Resources Inc as SymphonyIRI Group. He earned his PhD in electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon. Later he founded Aspect, a firm that made software that allowed clients to track internal spending, inventory, buying behaviour.

Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla ranks 308th on the rich list with a USD 1.3 billion net worth.

His firm raised USD 1.1 billion in the summer of 2009, the most by a venture firm in three years. The India-born engineer came to the US to attend grad school at Carnegie Mellon and "made his early fortune as a cofounder of Sun Microsystems." He started Khosla Ventures in 2004.

His Three Dog Vineyards, named after his dogs, produces a thousand bottles of cabernet sauvignon a year, the publication said. 

(Published 23 September 2010, 05:55 IST)

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