Big Picture

Melinda Gates looks set to become the world’s second-richest woman

Bill Gates

With a fortune estimated at $73 billion, Melinda Gates could be about to become the second-richest woman in the world after her divorce Bill Gates.

Melinda French Gates – who has recently introduced her maiden name French into her social media profiles (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin)– will rank behind only Francoise Bettencourt Meyers (67), the granddaughter of L’Oreal founder and the richest woman in the world, whose inherited net worth is now worth about $84.8 billion. Bettencourt Meyers and her family own around 33 per cent of the stocks of L’Oreal.

Melinda French Gates On Twitter

According to the Bloomberg index, Bill Gates is currently ranked as the world’s fourth-richest person, with wealth totalling about $146 billion. Right now, he is the world’s fourth-richest person, after Jeff Bezos ($192 billion), Elon Musk ($184 billion), and LVMH’s Bernald Arnault and family ($157 billion).

For the past two decades, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates has pushed for causes ranging from education to global health through their namesake foundation.

The couple, along with Warren Buffett, also founded The Giving Pledge, a campaign encouraging wealthy people to give away the bulk of their money.

Earlier this week, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates announced their divorce. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the Microsoft co-founder shared on May 3 on Twitter. “Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.”

In their announcement, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates said they “will continue our work together at the foundation.” In a statement, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said the pair would continue to shape the organization’s strategies, champion its causes and set its direction.

Here are the top 10 richest women in the world; net worths are as of May 9, 2021:

  1. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers ($84.8 billion)
  2. Julia Flesher Koch ($64.4 billion)
  3. Alice Walton ($62.2 billion)
  4. MacKenzie Scott ($58.2 billion)
  5. Jacqueline Badger Mars ($44.8 billion)
  6. Yang Huiyan ($33.1 billion)
  7. Gina Rinehart ($30.4 billion)
  8. Abigail Johnson ($27.2 billion)
  9. Iris Fontbona ($25.5 billion)
  10. Susanne Klatten ($25.4 billion)
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Sophie Ireland
SVP for News and Editorial Director. As CEOWORLD magazine's senior vice president for news and editorial director, Sophie Ireland oversees CEOWORLD magazine's journalism and journalists around the world and across platforms. She leads an award-winning team of journalists and newsroom executives who are committed to excellence, innovation and the highest quality reporting and storytelling. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn. Email her at