Celebrating wealth creation during a pandemic may feel inappropriate, but some of the 178 newcomers to Forbes’ newly released list of the World’s Billionaires are providing services that millions of people are relying on amidst our shelter-in-place reality.
The prime example: Eric Yuan, who dreamed up Zoom Video Communications and, due to California’s lockdown requirements, is now running it from his home in the San Jose area.
He told Forbes that he said to his team, “If you leverage this opportunity for money, I think that’s a horrible culture.” Shares of Zoom doubled in value from January 3 through March 18, the day Forbes calculated net worths; Yuan, who owns a 46% stake, is worth $5.5 billion.
Nineteen of the newcomers are women, including MacKenzie Bezos (net worth: $36 billion), who received one quarter of Jeff Bezos’ 16% stake in Amazon in the couple’s high-profile divorce last year.
Radha Vembu’s majority stake in Zoho, a software company founded by her brother, is worth $1.2 billion. Koch and Bezos are now the third- and fourth-richest women in the world and the first- and second-richest newcomers overall, respectively. While they inherited their fortunes, 81% of this year’s new list members are self-made.
The other new cosmetics billionaire on the list, Sun Huaiqing, made his mark in China—and a $2.7 billion fortune—with his beauty company, Guangdong Marubi Biotechnology, which markets creams and other skincare products.