The life of a CEO is not exactly a smooth ride. These people are the risk-takers, the ones who put effort into founding a company. They are responsible for the livelihood of many employees.
To be named as one of the wealthiest CEOs, you need a certain level of discipline and grit. However, even with the hurdles, some CEOs have hacked into it and are currently acknowledged as the world’s richest CEOs. This article will look at the top five richest CEOs as of June of 2020 and what they did to get there.
1. Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, currently known as the richest man in history, is a businessman, a space explorer, and an American philanthropist. He is mostly known for being the founder of Amazon.com. He is also the CEO, president, and chairman of the board of amazon.com.
Jeff Bezos’ history dates back to when he was fascinated about selling something online. That is when he landed on selling books and went ahead to create an amazon business plan. In 1994, he founded the company based in his garage. Amazon would later grow to be one of the top retailers in the world.
At the peak of his career, Jeff owned 80 million shares of Amazon. This has since been reduced to 58 million, but not as a case of insider selling. Rather, he transferred some of his shares, worth $36 billion, to his wife after the divorce.
Other than Amazon, Jeff has ventured into an aerospace company, Blue Origin, and the Washington Post which he purchased in 2013. He also owns about one billion shares of the company Alphabet Inc. He is also a household name among philanthropists. As of now, Jeff Bezos’ net worth is 159.9 billion USD.
2. Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault is a French billionaire, a businessman, and an art collector. He is currently the CEO of LVMH (Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton). Bernard oversees seventy luxury brands, including Dior and Sephora. It is under his leadership that LVMH has become the world's largest luxury good company. Currently, his net worth stands at 102.8 billion USD. In 2019, Bernard surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the world richest man, but Jeff has since reclaimed his position in 2019.
Bernard Arnault studied engineering and, upon graduating, he worked in his father’s construction company. He later moved to become a CEO of a luxury goods holding company known as Financière Agache. Shortly after holding this position, he founded LVMH.
Bernard's success stems from his interest in arts; a reminder that in the modern world creatives and artists are also setting their foundation. It is also evident in the increase in the number of content creators on the web. Bernard Arnault has also been part of supporting artists through his contribution to grants and funding to help aspiring artists.
3. Mark Zuckerberg
He is an American technology entrepreneur and is known as the founder of Facebook. His current net worth stands at 87.9 billion USD, and he is considered the youngest richest person in the world. As expected, most of his wealth is from his Facebook shares, where he owns around 400 million in total.
The idea of creating Facebook began when Mark was still at Havard University. He approached some of his friends who helped him build Facebook. It would later grow to become one of the biggest social media platforms.
Facebook currently has two billion users and Mark has gone further by buying Instagram and What's app, other social media platforms.
Even with his fortune, Mark is paid only $1 per year, a strategy where CEOs choose to pay themselves low salaries to increase company profits. With increased profits, the company expands its overall value. Other than that, Mark is paid a small salary so that other employees can be paid their full wages. He has also continued to advocate for universal basic income.
In summary, the common thing about the top three richest men is that each of them had a humble beginning. It shows that even though it takes grit and hard work, if you never make that first step up, no matter how small, then your dream will only remain as an idea. Outgrow your fears and make that first step. Let the story of the top three richest men inspire you.