The 10 billionaires who gained the most wealth in 2023


For many of the ultra-rich, 2023 was a year of getting ultra-richer. With stock markets around the world rallying, more than half the planet’s 2,568 billionaires are wealthier than they were on New Year’s Day—some to the tune of billions, tens of billions and even, for one lucky X man, more than $100 billion.

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Of course, some billionaires are more fortunate than others. The year’s ten biggest gainers added a combined $490 billion to their wealth, through December 15, 2023, according to Forbes’ estimates.

Seven of the ten are technology billionaires. If 2022 was a year of reckoning for big tech, 2023 was a year of rebound, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumping by 42%, nearly doubling the broader S&P 500’s 23% rise. And shares of the “magnificent seven”—Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Tesla and Meta—all far outpaced the market, helping propel the billionaires behind them to even greater wealth.

No one got richer this year, in sheer dollar terms, than Elon Musk (who Forbes categorizes as an automotive billionaire because most of his wealth comes from carmaker Tesla). Musk began 2023 as the world’s second richest person, worth an estimated $146.5 billion after losing more money in 2022 than anyone else. He ends the year back on top, having added more than $108 billion to his net worth amid a remarkable U-turn in Tesla stock.

Just two of this year’s ten top gainers hail from outside the U.S.: Indonesia’s petrochemicals and energy tycoon Prajogo Pangestu, the year’s largest gainer in percentage terms (at more than 900%), and the Spanish mogul behind fashion retailer Zara, Amancio Ortega.

Here are the 10 billionaires who gained the most wealth in 2023 (data as of December 15, 2023):

1. Elon Musk
Source of wealth: Tesla, SpaceX
Net worth: $254.9 bil (+$108.4 bil in 2023)

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Musk spent his first full year in charge of Twitter, which he renamed X in July, mostly lighting his investment on fire one controversial tweet at a time. Yet Musk still managed to get richer than anyone else in the world over the past 12 months, thanks largely to two of his other ventures. Shares of his electric carmaker Tesla, which began delivering Cybertrucks last month, are up more than 100%. And his rocket business SpaceX, which has carried out more than 90 successful launches this year, skyrocketed to a valuation of $150 billion this July, and is now said to be in the process of selling shares at a $180 billion valuation.

2. Mark Zuckerberg
Source of wealth: Facebook
Net worth: $118.6 bil (+$74.8 bil)

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After an especially rough 2022—with a collapsing share price, crumbling profits and significant fourth-quarter layoffs—Zuck has come roaring back, adding some $75 billion in wealth as stockholders have cheered his “year of efficiency.” Shares of Facebook parent company Meta are up 178% through December 15, on pace for their best year ever.

3. Jeff Bezos
Source of wealth: Amazon
Net worth: $172.3 bil (+$65 bil)

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Bezos gave away stock worth $700 million, mainly to combat homelessness and climate change, and pledged $100 million to wildfire relief relief in Maui, where he has a home. Bezos can afford such gifts and more: Amazon stock is up 79% in 2023, giving Bezos—who also took possession of a new super yacht and got engaged to former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez this year—$65 billion new reasons to celebrate.

4. Prajogo Pangestu
Source of wealth: Diversified
Net worth: $52.8 bil (+$47.9 bil)

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The Indonesian mogul amassed a fortune in timber and petrochemicals. He took a coal mining business public in March and, in October, listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange a renewable energy company that owns the country’s largest geothermal producer; shares have since jumped by more than 200%.

5. Larry Page
Source of wealth: Google
Net worth: $111.7 bil (+$34.4 bil)

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Stock in Google parent company Alphabet are up 50% this year, as investors await the tech giant’s Gemini AI software in 2024. Alphabet, which Page cofounded with Sergey Brin in 1998, launched AI chatbot Bard in March.

6. Amancio Ortega
Source of wealth: Zara
Net worth: $97.4 bil (+$33.2 bil)

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Shares of the Spanish fast-fashion pioneer’s Madrid-listed Inditex, known for its Zara stores, have risen 57% in 2023, to record highs, amid strong demand and record profits. Good news for Ortega, who owns around 60% of the company and sits on its board alongside daughter Marta Ortega Perez, who has been non-executive chair since 2022.

7. Sergey Brin
Source of wealth: Google
Net worth: $107.3 bil (+$33 bil)

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Brin, who along with Page stepped back from Google’s daily operations in 2019, returned to the company in his most hands-on role in years in 2023, working on the business’ AI efforts.

8. Steve Ballmer
Source of wealth: Microsoft
Net worth: $110.9 bil (+$32.4 bil)

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It was a good year for Ballmer’s two major investments, the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team—which is worth 19% more than a year ago—and Microsoft—where Ballmer, who was CEO from 2000 to 2014, remains a shareholder. The stock is up 55%, largely thanks to Microsoft’s lucrative, $10 billion investment in Chat GPT-developer OpenAI.

9. Larry Ellison
Source of wealth: Oracle
Net worth: $133.2 bil (+$30.8 bil)

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Generative AI-driven demand for data center services has helped push up shares of Oracle, the software giant Ellison cofounded in 1977, by 26% this year. That’s made Ellison, who’s Oracle’s chief technology officer, more than $30 billion richer, even after a recent selloff.

10. Jensen Huang
Source of wealth: Nvidia
Net worth: $43.6 bil (+$29.8 bil)

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No one embodies the AI boom better than Huang, the cofounder and CEO of Nvidia, which designs more of the chips used for artificial intelligence systems than anyone. The stock has rocketed by more than 230% in 2023, pushing Nvidia’s market capitalization to $1.2 trillion and making Taiwan-born Huang—who has the company logo tattooed on his arm—one of the 20 richest Americans.

This article was first published on and all figures are in USD.

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