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Bill Gates Slips To 5th In The List Of The Richest

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Bill Gates, the former founder of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), has dropped down a rung to fifth position behind Facebook Inc. (FB) CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg on the list of the world's richest persons, according to Forbes.

The divorce of Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the split of properties afterwards is apparently the key reason behind the slip. Gates has been one of the top billionaires since 1987 and this is the first time he is below the 3rd spot since Forbes started their list.

Gates' investment company, Cascade Investment LLC (CAS), transferred stocks worth $2.4 billion in stock to Melinda on Thursday, taking her net worth to $5.6 billion. Bill had already parted with $3.2 billion in May after the power-couple announced their separation.

Bill Gates is currently worth $129.6 billion, while Zuckerberg with $132 billion is at fourth.

According to SEC filings, Melinda received 3.3 million AutoNation shares, 2.8 million Deere & Co shares and 9.5 million Canadian National Railway shares from Cascade.

Bill and Melinda decided to part ways after the former chief of Microsoft was found being friends with Jeffrey Epstein in 2019. Gates was also under investigation for another probable relationship with a Microsoft employee, back in 2000. Gates has referred to his friendship with Epstein as a huge error and said to CNN, "It's a time of reflection, and at this point, I need to go forward. Within the family, we'll heal the best that we can."

It is, however, unclear how much Melinda Gates will ultimately get from the separation as the terms of their divorce was not open to the public knowledge, reports Forbes. Bill and Melinda will work together in their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest charity foundation in the world, as long as the latter is comfortable with working with her former husband.

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