10. Aliko Dangote, 55
Company: Dangote Group - Net worth: $11.2 billion - Compensation: $16, 510*
Billionaire Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Africa, according to Forbes. He is also the founder and CEO of Dangote Group, which owns Nigeria’s largest listed company by market cap — Dangote Cement.
The world’s richest chief executives have all either founded or built companies from the ground up, in many cases transforming their industries.
While some of them inherited wealth, most came from modest beginnings. One started as a newspaper boy, another as an insurance salesman, a third as a mortgage broker.
9. Mark Zuckerberg, 27
Company: Facebook - Net worth $18.1 billion 2011 - Compensation: $1.49 million
At 27-years-old, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest CEO on the list. As the founder and CEO of the world’s largest social networking website with 845 million monthly users, Zuckerberg is likely to leap up the rankings once Facebook goes public this year.
8. Larry Page, 39
Company: Google - Net worth: $18.3 billion 2010 - Compensation: $1,786
Google co-founder Larry Page was the company’s first CEO, but he stepped aside in 2001 and became President of products. Page returned to the post of Chief Executive last year.
7. Lakshmi Mittal, 61
Company: Arcelor-Mittal - Net worth: $19.1 billion 2011 - Compensation: $1.74 million
Lakshmi Mittal is the founder and CEO of ArcelorMittal — the world’s largest steelmaker. The 61-year old steel tycoon founded the company in 1976 as LNM Group, parting ways from his India-based family's steel business.
6. Sheldon Adelson, 78
Company: Las Vegas Sands - Net worth: $24.6 billion 2010 - Compensation: $11.36 million
Sheldon Adelson is the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, the most valuable publicly traded U.S. casino company.
5. Charles G. Koch, 76
Company: Koch Industries - Net worth: $24.7 billion - Compensation: N/A
Charles G. Koch has been the chairman and CEO of Koch Industries — one of the largest privately owned companies in the U.S. — since 1967. The group’s annual revenue is more than $100 billion, according to Forbes.
4. Eike Batista, 56
Company: EBX - Net worth: $31.6 billion - Compensation: N/A
Eike Batista is South America’s richest man, and the founder and CEO of holding company EBX. Known for taking risks in his rise from a door-to-door insurance salesman to Brazil’s leading business tycoon, Batista first made his fortune buying gold from Amazon miners in the early 1980s before going on to found EBX in 1983.
3. Lawrence J. Ellison, 67
Company: Oracle - Net worth: $35 billion 2011 - Compensation: $77.6 million
As the co-founder and CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison is also the sixth richest person in the world and the third wealthiest in the U.S., according to Forbes.
Ellison co-founded Oracle under the name Software Development Laboratories (SDL) in 1977. The company picked up a contract with the CIA in the same year to build a database program code-named "Oracle."
2. Warren Buffett, 81
Company: Berkshire Hathaway - Net worth: $44.7 billion 2011 - Compensation: $491,925
As chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett is the world’s second-richest CEO and the world’s third-richest man. His company’s holdings include American Express, Coca-Cola, Costco, and Moody’s.
Buffett’s early job as a paperboy in Omaha, Nebraska in the 1940s helped him earn the $5,000 and launched him into the world of value investing and eventually led to the creation of the Berkshire investment empire.
1. Carlos Slim, 72
Companies: Grupo Carso, Telmex, America Movil - Net worth: $70 billion - Compensation: N/A
Carlos Slim has been the world’s richest man for the past three years, and his wealth is equivalent to nearly 6 percent of Mexico’s annual economic output.
Slim is the Chairman and CEO at three of his companies: telecom giants Telmex and America Movil, which is the world’s third largest cellphone company by subscribers, and conglomerate Grupo Carso. Mexico-born Slim, who is of Lebanese descent, studied engineering before starting his own company in 1965, which would later be known as Grupo Carso. Slim continued to build his empire by purchasing troubled companies and turning them around. He also has stakes in some well-known North American names like the New York Times, and retailer Saks.
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