Gates Knocked Off His Perch?

By Deane Barker on July 5, 2007

World’s Richest Person: In my mind, it’s not true until Forbes says it’s true, and they’re not issuing a new list until next April. Gates has been on top of that list for 12 years now.

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim is the world’s richest man, worth an estimated $67.8 billion, after overtaking Microsoft founder Bill Gates, according to a respected tracker of Mexican financial wealth on Monday.

I’ve always wondered about the marketing value of this title. When Larry Ellison was making a run up the list a few years back (he’s currently ninth), I wondered if there was any discussion at Oracle about how much laying claim to the title would be worth to the company. I kept waiting for Oracle’s stock to split or something that hinted they were doing some financial acrobatics to game the results.

You have to think that the acknowledgment that someone is the world’s richest would have some halo effect on the company responsible for the wealth.