For the third time in three years, the world has a new richest man. Carlos Slim Helu takes No. 1 position on Forbes World’s Billionaires list as a record 164 10-figure titans return to the ranking amid the global economic recovery. Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has beaten out Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the wealthiest person on earth and nab the top spot on the 2010 Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires. Carlos Slim Helu takes No. 1 position on Forbes World’s Billionaires list. Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has beaten out Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the wealthiest person on earth.
Carlos Slim Helu Early Life
Carlos Slim Helu is a Mexican business magnate, philanthropist and the chairman and CEO of Telmex, America Movil. Carlos Slim Helu born on January 28, 1940. His extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso, SA de CV, amassed interests in the fields of communications, technology, retailing, and finance.
Slim was born in Mexico City, Mexico. His father, Julián Slim Haddad, a Syriac-Maronite Christian, immigrated to Mexico in 1902 from Lebanon, alone at 14 years of age, speaking no Spanish. He fled the Ottoman Empire, which at the time conscripted young men into forced labour. Carlos Slim’s mother, Linda Helú, was born in Parral, Chihuahua. She was the daughter of José Helú and Wadiha Atta, Lebanese immigrants who arrived in Mexico at the end of the 19th century.
Slim married Soumaya Domit Gemayel, also a Lebanese-Mexican, in 1967. They had six children and were married for 32 years until Domit died of a kidney ailment in 1999. The youngest of their three daughters, Johanna, is married to Arturo Elías Ayub, a board member of some of Slim’s companies.
Carlos Slim Helu Personal Wealth
On August 4, 2007, The Wall Street Journal ran a cover story profiling Slim. The article said, “While the market value of his stake in publicly traded companies could decline at any time, at the moment he is probably wealthier than Bill Gates”.
On March 29, 2007, Slim surpassed Warren Buffett as the world’s second richest person with an estimated net worth of US$53.1 billion compared with Buffett’s US$52.4 billion. According to The Wall Street Journal, Slim credits part of his ability to “discover investment opportunities” early to the writings of his friend, futurist author Alvin Toffler.
On August 8, 2007, Fortune reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world’s richest man. Slim’s estimated fortune soared to US$59 billion, based on the value of his public holdings the end of July. Gates’ net worth was estimated to be at least US$58 billion.On March 5, 2008, Forbes ranked Slim as the world’s second-richest person, behind Warren Buffett and ahead of Bill Gates.
On March 11, 2009, Forbes ranked Slim as the world’s third-richest person, behind Gates and Buffett and ahead of Lawrence Ellison.
On March 10, 2010, Forbes once again reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world’s richest man, with a net worth of US$53.5 billion. Gates and Buffett now have a net worth of US$53 billion and US$47 billion respectively. Helu was the first Mexican to top the list. It was the first time in 16 years that the person on top of the list was not from the United States. It was also the first time the person at the top of the list was from an “emerging economy”.
Slim has been awarded the Entrepreneurial Merit Medal of Honor from Mexico’s Chamber of Commerce. He is a “gold patron” of the American Academy of Achievement, a Commander in the Belgian Order of Leopold II, CEO of the year in 2003 by Latin Trade magazine, and one year later CEO of the decade by the same magazine.