Larry Ellison passes Bill Gates to become world's fourth richest person

Shawn Knight

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In brief: Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison has surpassed Bill Gates to become the world's fourth richest person. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ellison's total net worth sits at $130 billion which narrowly edges out Gates' $129 billion fortune.

This is the first time that Ellison has ranked above fifth place on Bloomberg's list, and the first time his fortune has been larger than that of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Then again, Gates' fortune would be much higher if not for his philanthropic efforts. Last year alone, he donated $5 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Oracle took shape in the late 70s as a database vendor for low- and mid-range operations, and grew its business exponentially over the following decades. Ellison helmed the ship until 2014 when he stepped down as CEO, but remains an active part of the company as executive chairman and chief technology officer.

Share value in Oracle is up more than 41 percent year to date thanks in part to recent advancements in artificial intelligence, hence why Ellison is making moves on the billionaires' leaderboard. According to a September 2022 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Ellison is the company's largest shareholder with approximately 42.9 percent of all outstanding shares in his portfolio.

Fun fact – Ellison also owns a 1.5 percent stake in Tesla, another tech giant that has been having an incredible 2023. Year to date, Tesla stock is up more than 135 percent and is currently trading at $258.15 per share. With a 23.5 percent stake, it's no wonder Elon Musk sits atop the billionaires index with a total net worth of $225 billion. His net worth is $33 billion larger than the next richest person on the list.

Eight of the top 10 richest individuals in the world earned their money in the technology sector. Musk, Ellison, and Gates are joined by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The two non-tech top 10 people are French business magnate Bernard Arnault and American investor Warren Buffett.

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