Skip to main content

Forbes: Bill Gates is World's Fourth Most Powerful Person

Forbes has released its list of the world's most powerful figures in both wealth and influence, with Microsoft chairman and founder Bill Gates being named fourth on the list.

Gates, who increased his position from fifth last year, has a net worth of $65 billion even after donating more than $28 billion towards a variety of charitable causes.

As co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the influential industry figure has been aiming to remove a number of diseases. Gates estimates that the foundation's efforts could ultimately help save as many as 8 billion lives by 2020.

He's also been urging his wealthy peers join the foundation's "Giving Pledge", which sees individuals and families in the U.S. donating the majority of their wealth toward philanthropy. Thus far, a total of 91 have joined the pledge, with 23 contributors joining this year.

Pope Benedict XVI took the fifth spot, while the three top places on the Forbes list went to heads of states. U.S. President Barack Obama came in at first, followed by Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel in second and Russia president Vladimir Putin at third.

As for technology figures in the list, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page both shared the No. 20 spot among the most powerful people. Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg followed by taking the 25th spot, while other tech moguls on the list included Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at No. 27, Apple CEO Tim Cook at No. 35, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at No. 46, and LinkedIn chairman Reid Hoffman at No. 71.

The richest individual on the planet remains Mexico's Carlos Slim Helu, who is ranked 11th on the list. He made his vast fortune through telecom and has a personal net worth of $72 billion. He's contributed billions in past years to philanthropic causes.

Hon Hai Precision CEO Terry Gou was ranked No. 55. The company, otherwise known as Foxconn, manufacturers tech devices including the iPhone, iPad, Kindle and the Xbox 360. However, it's been criticized for its unsafe labor conditions within its factories, as well as hiring underage workers/interns. At number 64 on the list is Robin Li, the founder and CEO of Baidu, China's biggest search engine.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback