Internationally known business genius and pioneer, Bill Gates, has once again become the world’s richest businessman. Earning back his title from Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu, Gates’ fortune is valued at $77.2bn, up 16 percent from last year. Interestingly enough, Gates, who is known worldwide for his co-founding of Washington-based Microsoft Corp (MSFT), makes relatively little from the world’s biggest software company, with less than a quarter of his fortune coming from Microsoft.
And although Microsoft shares have risen 28 percent this year despite losing ground to Apple and Google in terms of mobile computing, the company, formed in 1975, was kept up and running through cost controls and the sales of business and server software. As for the rest of Gates’ wealth, it includes the rally in stock holdings such as the Canadian National Railway Co (CNR) as well as the waste collection company Republic Services Inc. (RSG).
With his owning stakes in more than a dozen of Cascade Investment’s publicly traded companies and closely held operations, this Harvard university dropout remains one of the most respected and influential figures in technology and business. Despite low consumer demand for personal computers run by the new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system, Gates’ fortune is not going anywhere near “low” anytime soon.
The small kingdom is among the most economically vulnerable of the GCC states, with high debt levels, low reserves and slow GDP growth. But it has identified jewels in its accelerating non-oil economy that will help it forge a new path for the future.