Social Entrepreneurs step back in Richest People in America 2012 List


When the first Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans was announced back in the 1980s, there were only 13 billionaires on it. It was estimated that their combined net worth was only $93 billion.

Nowadays things are quite different. A few days ago, Forbes revealed its list of the wealthiest Americans in 2012. Forbes’ ranking includes 400 people and their total net worth is $1.7 trillion! This is $0.2 trillion more compared to 2011.

Top positions in the list hold famous people like Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Pete Peterson, Michael Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos and Sergey Brin. But who takes the top spot this year? Bill Gates, of course! Mr. Gates is the richest person in America for the 19th time and today he has a $66 billion net worth. Second place belongs to business magnate Warren Buffett whose fortune amounts to $46 billion.

The two leaders of the list are known for their philanthropic activities. Bill Gates, for example, has generously given away the large sum of $28 billion and he still keeps giving!

The top five includes also co-founder of Oracle Corporation Larry Ellison ($41 B), co-owner of Koch Industries Inc. Charles Koch ($31 B) and his younger brother David Koch ($31 B).

The Curious Case of Social Entrepreneurs

There is an interesting change in Forbes list in 2012. Compared to previous years, the number of wealthy technology and social media entrepreneurs has changed.

“The Losers”

Two of the largest tech moguls stepped back on the list. These are Mark Pincus, chief executive of Zynga, and Eric Lefkofsky, co-founder of Groupon and presently head of Blue Media. Pincus lost nearly $1.2 billion! However, the biggest “loser” on Forbes 400 is Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg, whose net worth dropped $8.1 billion. Nevertheless, Facebook executive occupies 36th place and his personal wealth still amounts to $9.4 billion. His Facebook colleague, Dustin Moskovits, is still the youngest billionaire on Forbes 400. But this year he lost a few positions after he kissed $800 million goodbye. Ex Facebook president, Sean Parker now has a modest net worth of only $1.3 billion.

But what caused this sudden change? Well, Facebook shares dropped rapidly since the social network went public. That explains Zuckerberg’s fall. Mark Pincus’ drop is due to the fact that Zynga is largely connected with the Facebook platform. So there you go! Part of the mystery is solved!

The Winners

Other technology entrepreneurs seem to reach new heights on the list and some, like Bill Gates, maintain a steady position. Another billionaire tech entrepreneur is Larry Ellison who, as we already mentioned, is third in this year’s list. His software company seems to be doing quite well on the market and that, apparently, shows.

Forbes 400 is a list that includes the most successful entrepreneurs in America. However, entrepreneurship still seems quite limited to the U.S. Outside the States there are very few such people. In Dubai and in the Middle East as a whole, the entrepreneur is a rare species.


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