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Bill's disappearing billions

Microsoft supremo Bill Gates has slipped from his position as the world's richest man, according to the <i>Sunday Times</i>, compilers of the annual Rich List, with Gates losing over $15 billion on Microsoft stock last year.

Bill Gates has been toppled from his position as the world’s richest man, according to the UK Sunday Times. In the newspaper’s annual list of the richest people in the world, Microsoft’s chief software architect now rates only second, with just $37.5 billion to his name, down from $53 billion last year.

Gates has been replaced by Wal-Mart tycoon, Robson Walton, who weighs in with $8 billion more than Gates at $45.3 billion. Bill’s disappearing billions are blamed mainly on the tech bubble bursting, which has seen Microsoft stock drop from a high of $119 in December 1999, to around $68 today.

Proving that it is not all doom and gloom in the tech markets, Oracle’s Larry Ellison ranks number three with $29 billion, up by $20.9 billion from last year’s $8.1 billion. Other tech billionaires in the top 50 include Paul Allen, ex-Microsoft taking the six spot with $17 billion; Steve Ballmer, also of Microsoft at number 15 with $10.5 billion; Michael Dell at 25 with $7.8 billion and Intel founder Gordon Moore at 33 with $7 billion.

See the full list at www.sunday-times.co.uk

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