March 11th, 2010
12:08 PM ET

Mexican mogul Slim beats Gates as world's richest person

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/11/slim.forbes.jpg width=292 height=320]

Jason Kessler

Forbes magazine released its annual list of the world's richest people Wednesday, and for only the second time since 1995, Microsoft founder Bill Gates' name was not at the top.

This year, the title of "World's Richest" went to Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim, with a net worth of $53.5 billion.

Slim, whose holding company America Movil contains a sprawling collection of telecom assets, is the first non-American to be declared Forbes' richest person since 1994, when Japanese real estate kingpin Yoshiaki Tsutsumi held that honor. (He has since disappeared from the list entirely).

But Slim's financial edge over Gates is, well, slim, at least by billionaire standards - just $500 million. A $1 increase in Microsoft shares, the compilers of the Forbes list noted at a press conference Wednesday, could send Gates' net worth ahead of Slim's.

Also, were it not for his extensive philanthropy, Gates would have a net worth in the ballpark of $80 billion, Forbes' Matthew Miller estimated.

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Mx

    Just because Carlos Slim is not as flashy as Bill Gates in his philanthropic activities does not meant it does not do anything. You can check his web page for more information

    For your information mexico is 1 of the 20 more important economies in the world and yes i know everybody is going to start talking about all the Mexicans that cross the borders looking for jobs but this is not only Mexicans these are Europeans, Irish, Italians, Chinese , Indians, Russians, South-Americans, etc... And even many US citizens will find a Mexican in his family tree.

    If it wasn't because all the cheap labor you pay to those Mexicans the US economy wouldn't be the 1st economy neither and Carlos Slim is just the personification of that fact.

    March 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  2. Joan Jacobs

    Mr. Slim's wealth is nothing to be proud of – what has he given back to the people of Mexico? He should be ashamed – his money is probably from illegal drugs and guns hidden behind the telecomo industry. How much has he given to charity? That would be worthy of reporting.

    March 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  3. the_state

    Poorest countries in the world? According to the IMF, Mexico is ranked 13th in GDP right before Australia. If you were to say one of the most unequal when it comes to wealth, then probably yes.

    March 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  4. Charly

    The only reason he has become this wealthy is the fact that ex Mexican president salinas sold him the government owned telephone company for peanuts and protected it with a monopoly. It seems that being involved with corrupt government officials pays off.

    March 11, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  5. DM

    Ok if Mexico isn't the poorest, why not as one of the world's richest men Carlos Slim creating more jobs to help the people of his country for the betterment of his country? Oh by the way if the U.S. would keep jobs here instead of shipping them over there he wouldn't be a rich as he is. What a paradox.

    March 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  6. Guy

    One of the poorest? It may not be as rich as the USA, but its sure not one of the poorest.

    March 11, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  7. silk

    Isn't it ironic that the richest man in the world now is from one of the poorest countries in the world? I wonder how much he has contributed to help the people of his own country? At least Bill Gates donate billions of dollars over the year to charity to help people.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm |