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The 12 Biggest Career Crashes Of 2018

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From boardrooms to courtrooms, sudden stumbles to drawn downfalls, 2018 saw more than a few high-profile careers completely collapse. Here are, in our judgment, the year’s biggest career crashes of all, arranged in alphabetical order.


Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr has never been a stranger to controversy, but until this year, no scandal—neither performing an intentionally crude rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” nor adopting Adolf Hitler’s likeness for a photo shoot—produced enough backlash to put a stop to the actress’ career. In the early hours of May 29, though, just two months after ABC had revived her namesake sitcom, Barr, known for being an outspoken alt-right advocate and conspiracy theorist, went on a wild Twitter tirade. Among her targets were Chelsea Clinton, George Soros and Obama-era White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, about whom she tweeted, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” A few hours later, she apologized, vowing to leave Twitter (a pledge that didn’t even last the day), but the damage was done: ABC had pulled the plug on Roseanne. In October, the network premiered a spin-off with most of the same cast titled The Conners—and killed off Barr’s character, the mordant matriarch, with an opioid overdose before it even began.

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Michael Cohen

It’s been a tumultuous decade for Michael Cohen. After joining the Trump Organization in 2007, the attorney proved himself to be the Donald’s greatest defender. But the “pit bull,” as he was once known, has been deep in the doghouse since January, when the Wall Street Journal reported that ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election he had arranged a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump 10 years prior. Four months later, Cohen became a focus of the Mueller investigation, with FBI agents raiding his office, hotel room and home, seizing millions of documents, including emails, tax records, tapes of conversations with Trump and evidence of the Stormy Daniels hush money. One week later, the U.S. Justice Department revealed that he was under criminal investigation for fraud and violations of campaign finance law. In June the president confirmed that he had severed ties with Cohen, and by August the lawyer had surrendered to the FBI, pleading guilty to eight criminal charges, including tax fraud, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful corporate contributions and excessive campaign contributions. But rock-bottom was still a ways off: On November 29 the disgraced attorney pleaded guilty to lying to Congressabout his involvement with Russians and a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow, which was discussed as recently as the summer of 2016. He was sentenced to three years in prison on December 12.

Bryan Colangelo
Bryan Colangelo. Picture: TORONTO STAR VIA GETTY IMAGES

Roseanne Barr wasn’t the only celebrity whose tweets proved the catalyst for a career crash this year. On May 29, The Ringer published an investigationinto Bryan Colangelo, the former president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, alleging that he had been using five fake Twitter accounts to disparage league players and some of his colleagues, both past and present. One day later, the 76ers organization announced that they had launched an official investigation into the matter, and on June 7, Colangelo, who initially dismissed the claims, resigned. As it turns out, though, his denial wasn’t a complete lie: His wife, Barbara Bottini, admitted to creating and managing the Twitter accounts. Still, Colangelo was her source of information, per the 76ers’ investigation.

Carlos Ghosn
Carlos Ghosn. Picture: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Carlos Ghosn 

After 40 years in the auto industry, culminating at the helm of not one but three major carmakers, Carlos Ghosn’s career came to a screeching halt on November 19, when he was arrested in Tokyo following an internal investigation at Nissan that alleged misconduct including understating his salary to evade taxes and misusing company assets for years. Within the week, he had been ousted from his chairmanship at both Nissan and Mitsubishi. On December 10, Tokyo prosecutors charged Ghosn with underreporting his Nissan compensation by about $5 million over the course of five fiscal years through March 2015 and rearrested him for allegedly misstating his pay for an additional three fiscal years until March 2018. A court date has yet to be determined, but if found guilty, Ghosn—who has maintained his innocence and managed to retain his standing as CEO and chairman of Renault—could face as many as 10 years behind bars.

Elizabeth Holmes
Elizabeth Holmes. Picture: NBCU PHOTO BANK VIA GETTY IMAGES

Elizabeth Holmes 

If you thought that Theranos’ shuttering of its lab and laying off of 43% of its workforce in October 2016 marked the end of Elizabeth Holmes’ fall from entrepreneur superstardom, you weren’t alone—we believed the same exact thing when we included her on our list of career crashes two years ago. But in March 2018, the SEC charged the 34-year-old company founder, as well as Sunny Balwani, then president of Theranos, with defrauding investors, and it became clear that her professional plummet was far from over. Three months later, on June 15, she stepped down as CEO as federal prosecutors charged her and Balwani with alleged wire fraud, claiming “Holmes and Balwani engaged in a multi-million-dollar scheme to defraud investors, and a separate scheme to defraud doctors and patients.” At her June 16 arraignment, she pleaded “not guilty,” but in September, the once $9 billion company officially closed shop in what would appear to be the final chapter of Holmes’ career. All that’s left is her day in court, in limbo until the prosecution has concluded its investigation.

Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly. Picture: NBCU PHOTO BANK VIA GETTY IMAGES

Megyn Kelly 

When Megyn Kelly left Fox News for NBC, in 2017, the former face of the The Kelly File explained the motivation behind her move on The Ellen Show, saying, “I didn’t want to be in the snake pit—I just wanted to cover the news.” Little did she know that only 13 months after the premiere of Megyn Kelly Today, she would be the news. During an October 23 segment on Halloween costumes, she defended blackface, stating, “What is racist? You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as a character.” The backlash, from NBC viewers and staffers alike, was immediate, and Kelly’s apology, delivered at the top of the next day’s episode, wasn’t enough. By Friday, Megyn Kelly Today had been canceled, leaving its former host and network in negotiations over Kelly’s $69 million contract. NBC is trying not to pay her anything more.

Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort. Picutre: GETTY IMAGES

Paul Manafort 

When Paul Manafort joined Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in March 2016, it wasn’t his first time on the trail; he had worked for Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush during their own White House races. It will, however, go down in history as his last. Just two months after he succeeded Corey Lewandowski as campaign chairman in June of that year, an August 12 article in The New York Times revealed that he had been paid $12.7 million by the political party of Ukraine’s former, and pro-Russian, president Viktor F. Yanukovych, for whom he had been a senior adviser. Manafort denied having received the alleged payments, but three days later, he was replaced by Steve Bannon and shortly thereafter resigned from the campaign altogether. In June of this year, special counsel Robert Mueller charged him with obstruction of justice and witness tampering, and in August he was found guilty of eight financial crimes. He negotiated a plea bargain with Mueller—cooperation in exchange for a sentence lighter than the maximum 80 years in prison—but that deal fell apart in November in light of allegations that he had repeatedly lied to the prosecutors he had agreed to work with and had his lawyer brief Trump’s lawyer on discussions with investigators. Now, Mueller’s team is reportedly considering bringing additional criminal charges against Manafort—yet another nail in the coffin of his career.

Les Moonves. Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Les Moonves

For decades, Les Moonves was one of the most powerful executives in television, having played a key role in the development of hit series such as ER and Friends before moving to CBS where, over the past 13 years, he was credited with revitalizing the once lackluster network. He was also known as a proponent of the #MeToo movement, even helping to form the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace in December 2017. But all that proved to be but a façade when in August of this year The New Yorker published a piece detailing six women’s accounts of alleged sexual harassment and assault by Moonves. He stepped down as CEO and chairman in September, and when more women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, he denied all of the allegations. For a while it looked as though he might manage to make his exit with every cent of his $120 million severance package. Then in early December, a 59-page report by lawyers for the CBS board charged that the media mogul had been obstructing their investigation, destroying evidence and intentionally lying to investigators in an attempt to minimize the misconduct and save his severance. The document also divulged new allegations of nonconsensual, “transactional” sex, all of which he has responded to by permitting a lawyer of his to tell The New York Times that he “denies having any nonconsensual sexual relation.” If the report’s findings are true, they could be grounds for CBS to withhold all of Moonves’ millions.

John  Schnatter. Picture: Rob Kim/Getty Images

John Schnatter

John Schnatter kicked off 2017 on top of the world: Papa John’s was thriving, propelling his fortune into the billions, and he had become a household name, thanks, in part, to a sponsorship deal with the NFL. But that would all go up in flames by November, when, after months of slowing sales at Papa John’s, he weighed in on the national anthem protests, blaming the league’s tolerance of them for his company’s slipping stock. By the end of last year, Schnatter had stepped down as CEO, though he retained his position as chairman of the company he founded. Then in July 2018, Forbes reported that he had used the N-word during a conference call two months prior. On the call, a discussion of how to prevent further public relations catastrophes, Schnatter complained that “Colonel Sanders called blacks n——-s,” and KFC never faced repercussions. Hours later, he apologized for his language and denounced racism, but it didn’t help—he resigned as chairman that evening. Two weeks later, he filed a lawsuit against Papa John’s, alleging that the board had treated him in a “heavy-handed way,” and walked back his confession, allowing a lawyer of his to say, “John quoted the word and did not use the word.” In October, he took the stand, testifying against the pizza chain he built. The case is still ongoing, but his reputation is in tatters.

Eric Schneiderman
Eric Schneiderman. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Eric Schneiderman

Like Les Moonves, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was a vocal advocate of the #MeToo movement. He sued Harvey Weinstein and his namesake company to ensure victims received restitution for the sexual harassment and assault they said they had endured. But on May 7, The New Yorker, which had earlier brought the charges against Weinstein to light, revealed claims against Schneiderman, too, recounting allegations of sexual misconduct accusations from four women. Schneiderman, who has denied the allegations, resigned from his position the next day, but he won’t face criminal charges: After a six-month investigation into the allegations against him, it was determined that the statute of limitations for all of them had passed.

Jeffrey Tambor
Jeffrey Tambor. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Jeffrey Tambor

After a celebrated career in comedy and two Emmy wins for his portrayal of Maura Pfefferman on Transparent, November 2017 saw Jeffrey Tambor come under investigation for sexual harassment. His accusers—Van Barnes, Tambor’s former assistant, and Trace Lysette, who plays Shea on Transparent—are both transgender women. Despite being fired from the hit Amazon Studios show in February 2018, he did reprise his role as George Bluth Sr. on Netflix’s Arrested Development in May. That same month, Jessica Walter, Tambor’s Arrested Development co-star and on-screen wife, told The New York Times that he had verbally abused her on set. Tambor has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct, but he has acknowledged and apologized for his behavior toward Walter. While he doesn’t appear to be working on any film or television projects at this time, he is still slated to appear in Disney’s Magic Camp, to be released in 2019.

Wynn Resorts. Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Steve Wynn

After nearly two decades spent building a casino empire, and with it much of the iconic Las Vegas strip, Steve Wynn’s house of cards came tumbling down in January, when The Wall Street Journal published an investigation into numerous allegations against him of sexual misconduct. The billionaire has vehemently denied the accusations, calling them “preposterous” and part of a smear campaign led by Elaine Wynn, his ex-wife and Wynn Resorts cofounder, but he stepped down as CEO and chairman in February, and sold his shares of the company in March. Seven months after cashing out, he filed a lawsuit against his former company and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, alleging that Wynn Resorts had improperly provided investigators with his private communications and attempting to block the release of documents related to the firm’s investigation. A hearing on those documents’ possible release is expected on December 20.

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Billionaires

Richest Cities In The World: The Top 10 Cities With The Most Billionaires

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People with ten-digit fortunes can live pretty much anywhere they want. As it turns out, many like the same spots.

Of the 2,153 members of the 2019 Forbes World’s Billionaires List, 551 live in just 10 of the world’s 1,860 cities. Billionaires living in this relative handful of locations possess a collective $2.3 trillion of wealth, exceeding the GDP of all but seven nations on earth.

New York City again tops the list with 84 billionaires, whose combined net worth of $469.7 billion is greater than the GDP of Austria. The biggest city in the U.S. and home of the world’s two biggest stock exchanges, New York has housed the most billionaires for five years running.

The streak started in 2015 when it beat out Moscow, which has ranked as No. 3 since 2016. The Russian capital had 85 billionaires in 2014, 14 more than today.

China has the most cities in the top 10, with 145 of the nation’s billionaires living in just three places: No. 4 Beijing, No. 6 Shanghai and No. 8 Shenzhen. While all three Chinese cities have fewer billionaires than last year, they still account for 45% of the country’s list members.

That percentage may stand to grow even larger as China sprints toward further urbanization; the nation’s city-dwelling population has increased from 48% to 59% since 2009, per Chinese census data.

The same 10 sites were also the most popular on last year’s World’s Billionaires list, albeit with slightly shuffled rankings. San Francisco saw the biggest year-over-year jump, moving up from No. 10 to No. 7 and adding eight billionaires, including Coinbase cofounder Brian Armstrong and Levi Strauss heiress Mimi Haas.

Mumbai is the biggest loser, dropping from No. 7 to No. 10 with a net loss of eight billionaires. Nine fell off the list, including pharma bigwigs Samprada Singh and Basudeo Singh of Alkem Laboratories, whose stock price fell some 20%. Only one new billionaire emerged in India’s most populous city: paint company heir Mahendra Choksi.

Here are 10 cities with the most billionaires from No. 10 to No. 1:

10. Mumbai, 37 billionaires (-8 since 2018)

Total net worth: $184.4 billion

Richest resident: Oil and gas heir Mukesh Ambani, $50 billion

Mumbai is home to what is likely the most expensive residence on earth: Ambani’s $1 billion 27-story palace. It was also the site of one of the biggest, costliest weddings ever, again courtesy of Ambani. He hosted the week-long blockbuster celebration for his daughter Isha and the son of fellow billionaire Ajay Piramal in December 2018.  

9. Seoul, 38 billionaires (-3)

Total net worth: $99.9 billion

Richest resident: Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, $16.9 billion

All but one of South Korea’s billionaires reside in its biggest city, and all are South Korean citizens. Seoul’s richest people control the nation’s biggest businesses, including global powerhouses Samsung and Hyundai. South Korea is also the world’s fourth-largest online gaming market (over $5.7 billion in revenue, per Newzoo), and the sector has produced five Seoul billionaires, including Maple Story-maker Kim Jung-ju.

8. Shenzhen, 39 billionaires (-5)

Total net worth: $190.5 billion

Richest resident: Tencent CEO Ma Huateng, $38.8 billion

Designated as a “special economic zone” during Chinese economic reforms of the 1980’s, the Hong Kong-bordering city has become an economic and tourist hub. Every listmaker from Shenzhen is a self-made billionaire, with its second-richest resident Hui Ka Yan working as a factory technician for ten years before founding one of China’s foremost real estate developers. Dorm room founder Frank Wangbecame the world’s first drone billionaire in 2016, along with an early investor and his marketing chief, both Shenzhen residents.

7. San Francisco, 42 billionaires (+8)   

Total net worth: $109.2 billion

Richest resident: Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskowitz, $11.1 billion

The heart of America’s tech revolution, San Francisco is homebase for founders of Uber, Airbnb and Pinterest. The region’s influx of digital-age companies has made it the most expensive city in the U.S. (The entire Bay Area, including San Francisco and nearby cities, has 82 billionaires, still fewer than New York). One escapee: PayPal cofounder and Trump backer Peter Thiel, who moved to Los Angeles in 2018, reportedly for its greater political diversity.

6. Shanghai, 45 billionaires (-5)

Total net worth: $110.7 billion

Richest resident: Ecommerce entrepreneur Colin Huang, $13.5 billion

As ecommerce surges worldwide, so do fortunes like Huang’s, which is tied to internet retailer Pinduoduo. All those online-purchased items have created a massive package delivery market. Shanghai, also the world’s biggest port, is home to four major package delivery companies, each with a pair each of billionaires. The city’s richest logistics duo is tied to Yunda Express; its cofounding spouses Nie Tengyun and Chen Liying are worth a combined $5.1 billion.

5. London, 55 billionaires (+0)

Total net worth: $226 billion

Richest resident: Russian bank founder Mikhail Fridman, $15 billion

London, with more five star hotels than any other city, is a mecca for the uber rich. While 20 Brits call the cosmopolitan city home, 35 expatriate billionaires from 23 countries including India, Iceland and Russia have relocated to London. Five, including two Ikea heirs, come from high-taxed Sweden, more than any other nation. Four are Russians, including Russia’s richest woman Elena Baturina, whose husband was removed as mayor of Moscow in 2010. And though he’s not a resident, Chicago hedge fund head Ken Griffin bought a $122 million property just a ten minute walk from Buckingham Palace this January.

4. Beijing, 61 billionaires (-3)

Total net worth: $193.3 billion

Richest resident: Commercial real estate titan Wang Jianlin, $22.6 billion

Beijing is home to China’s two youngest billionaires, both products of the internet era: 33-year-old cryptocurrency miner Jihan Wu and 35-year-old ByteDance chair Zhang Yiming. The success of his $75 billion internet-era content creation hub has launched Zhang from the city’s No. 13 to No. 2 richest in just a year. He’s only topped by Wang, whose fortune comes from real estate. Tech (17) and real estate (12) are the most popular industries for billionaires in the Chinese capital.

3. Moscow, 71 billionaires (-6)

Total net worth: $336.5 billion

Richest resident: Natural gas oligarch Leonid Mikhelson, $24 billion

Nearly 80% of all billionaires in Russia live in its capital, which is also its most populous city. Moscow is home to five billionaires sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in April 2018: suspected election meddler Oleg Deripaska, Michael Cohen-tied Viktor Vekselberg, legislative official Andrei Skoch, former Putin judo partner Arkady Rotenberg and trained economist Suleiman Kerimov. Russia’s Great Gatsby (as he’s been called) Kerimov faced money-laundering charged in France that were dropped in June.

2. Hong Kong, 79 billionaires (+2)

Total net worth: $355.5 billion

Richest resident: Conglomerate kingpin Li Ka-shing, $31.7 billion

Housing prices in the city have quadrupled since the Great Recession, thanks to its government’s tight grip on supply. The booming market has vaulted the fortunes of developers like Lee Shau Kee and Peter Woo, and 29 Hong Kong billionaires (and half of its top-ten richest) count real estate as their chief source of wealth. But a correction may be imminent—a Citigroup survey says that 57% of Hongkongers anticipate a drop in residential real estate prices during 2019.

1. New York, 84 billionaires (+1)

Total net worth: $469.7 billion

Richest Resident: Media magnate Michael Bloomberg, $55.5 billion

Some Big Apple billionaires were born and raised in New York, including Estee Lauder heir Ronald Lauder, JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon and Highbridge Capital cofounder Henry Swieca. Dimon and Swieca are two of 40 billionaires in the city whose fortunes were built in finance, the richest of whom is Carl Icahn, one of few hedge fund managers to make money in 2018. And though the city’s most famous landlord now calls the White House home, 17 other real estate billionaires live in New York City. That includes native New Yorker Steven Roth, whose real estate company Vornado owns 70% of Trump’s skyscraper at 1290 Avenue of Americas. But just like in London, NYC’s priciest residence, a $238 million Central Park penthouse, is owned by out-of-towner Ken Griffin (he calls Chicago home).

-Carter CoudrietForbes Staff

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Businesses Of The Future: 20 New Wealth Creators On The African Continent

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The New Wealth Creators is the first of its kind list by FORBES WOMAN AFRICA. Herein is a collection of female entrepreneurs on the African continent running businesses and social enterprises that are new, offbeat and radical.

These 20 women have been selected because they have created significant impact in their respective sectors by transforming a market or company, or innovating a product or service, and are pioneering their organization(s) in generating new untapped streams of income.

These women come from across the continent, from the villages and the suburbs, and are in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. They have all adopted sustainable development initiatives in one way or another to help solve Africa’s problems.

They may be wealth creators but their businesses, ironically, did not stem from a need to make money,  but rather from the need to solve Africa’s persisting socio-economic challenges.

 Economically empowering women has shown to boost productivity. It increases economic diversification and income equality, in addition to other positive developmental outcomes.

Simply put, when more women work, economies are likely to grow.

FORBES WOMAN AFRICA put in months of rigorous research, searching near and far for these inspirational entrepreneurs.

We took into account their business model, new ideas, potential, struggles, social impact, growth, influence, resilience and most importantly, their innovation.

Speaking to FORBES WOMAN AFRICA last year at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, said: “Innovation [is] becoming the cornerstone for our economy going forward.”

As Africa’s population is reported to increase by 53% by 2100, according to the United Nations, new solutions must be created in order for us to keep up.

One question remains: can Africa translate its significant population growth into economic development, and invest this wealth to improve the quality of life?

Entrepreneurship could very well be the answer, or at least, one of the answers.

Last year, the Founder and Chair of the Alibaba Group Jack Ma paid Africa a visit to discuss tangible investment and technology development.

He encouraged African entrepreneurs to take giant leaps in solving the challenges facing the continent and to take advantage of the digital economy.

From left to right: Rachel Sibande, Arlene Mulder, Miishe Addy, Sarah Collins, Dineo Lioma, Jessica Anuna. Picture: Motlabana Monnakgotla
Assistant Photographer: Gypseenia Lion

He said that opportunities lie where people complain.

And these women, through their businesses, have identified just that.

Vijay Tirathrai, director of the Techstars Dubai Accelerator, shared the same sentiments with FORBES WOMAN AFRICA.

“The new wealth creators, for me, are entrepreneurs who are very conscious about finding solutions in the market place, but from a lens of having social impact or having impacted the environment,” he says.

Tirathrai believes that while servicing consumers, new wealth creators are also “making a safer and a greener planet in the process, eliminating diseases, improving health conditions and advocating for equality for women”.

Women on the African continent have been making headway as drivers of change, and in many ways, they embody new wealth.

They are the true wealth.

As FORBES WOMAN AFRICA, we seek to celebrate such women.

Through this list, money is no longer the central indicator of new wealth creation.

It is about job creation, contributing to healthy societies, recycling waste, giving agency to those who are financially excluded and developing solutions for some of the socio-economic problems we grapple with.

These women may all come from different places but they are bound together by one common thread, and that is the thread of new wealth creation.

This compilation is innovative, exciting, inspiring and shows what businesses of the future may look like.

Meet the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA New Wealth Creators of 2019.

The list on the pages that follow is in no particular order.

-Curated by: Unathi Shologu

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The Richest Woman In The World

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Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s L’Oréal? In Francoise Bettencourt Meyers case, it’s both. The L’Oréal heiress, who is also the chairwoman of her family’s holding company, is the world’s richest woman, with a fortune of $49.3 billion.


Bettencourt Meyers, who is the 15th-richest person in the world, leads the women on the 2019 Forbes World’s Billionaires list.

The granddaughter of L’Oréal’s founder Eugène Schueller (an inventor of hair dyes), and a member of the company’s board since 1997, Bettencourt Meyers debuted on the billionaires list last year following the death of her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, in September 2017. Liliane had been on the list every year since Forbes published its first World’s Billionaires List in 1987.

Bettencourt Meyers’ fortune increased by $7.1 billion, or 17%, since last year thanks to stellar results at the makeup giant, of which she and her immediate family own a 33% stake.

READ MORE | At 21, Kylie Jenner Becomes The Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Ever

An estimated 90% of her wealth is tied to shares of the company, which recorded its best sales growth in more than a decade last year with total revenue coming in at $30.6 billion. Revenue in Asia Pacific jumped 20%, driven by China; the region has now overtaken North America in terms of sales.

Bettencourt Meyers, who lives in Paris, is the president of her family’s Bettencourt Schueller Foundation. The philanthropic foundation encourages French progress in science and the arts, giving money and support to projects in life sciences, social progress and traditional crafts.

The foundation has donated to projects including the research of neurons, support for families of autistic children and French choirs. She is also a writer and has authored a book on the Greek gods and another with commentary on the Bible.

While it’s Bettencourt Meyers’ first official year as richest woman, her name is no stranger to the spot. For the past decade, the world’s richest woman has either been a Bettencourt or Walton. In fact Bettencourt Meyers first overtook Alice Walton, last year’s richest woman, in March 2018, just days after we finalized our annual list.

READ MORE | Fewer Billionaires, Poorer Billionaires On African Continent In 2019

Bettencourt Meyers’ mother Liliane Bettencourt, the daughter of L’Oréal founder Scheuller, spent most of her life working at L’Oréal; late in life she suffered from dementia. She and Walmart heiresses have taken turns holding the title of richest women for most of the past three-plus decades that Forbes has been tracking the wealthy.

Liliane Bettencourt was the richest woman for most of the first 14 years Forbes published the billionaires’ list. In the years following 2001, she was overtaken some years by Walmart founder Sam Walton’s daughter Alice Walton and other years by Sam’s widow Helen Walton. Bettencourt took back the number one spot in 2006. She and Alice Walton’s sister-in-law Christy Walton took turns holding the title for the remainder of the past decade.

In 2010, buoyed by strong Walmart stock, Christy Walton, Sam Walton’s daughter-in-law, became the richest woman. Forbes understood at the time that she received the bulk of her husband John’s fortune when he died in a plane crash in 2005.

She continued as the world’s richest woman for the next four years, but in 2015, previously sealed documents revealed that she had inherited just one-sixth of his fortune. Christy and John’s son, Lukas, received one-third of John Walton’s estate, while the rest went to charity.

The Forbes World’s Billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth using stock prices and exchange rates from February 8, 2019. Some people will become richer or poorer between then and the publication of the rankings, or within days of publication.

-Madeline Berg; Forbes Staff

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