Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has reclaimed the title of world's richest person in Forbes' latest ranking of billionaires. The finance publication puts Gates' net worth at $76 billion and says Microsoft stock has helped him unseat Mexico's Carlos Slim, who held the top slot for four consecutive years. But Slim's reign was the exception, not the rule: Forbes has listed Bill Gates as the world's richest man for 15 of the past 20 years. And while his stake in Microsoft makes up less than a third of his total fortune (Forbes says Steve Ballmer may soon pass Gates as the company's largest individual shareholder), the stock has shot upward on Wall Street over the past year and tacked several billion onto Gates' net worth.
Despite stepping down from his role as chairman last month, the Microsoft founder plans to spend more time at the company serving as technology advisor to new CEO Satya Nadella. "I'll have over a third of my time available to meet with product groups, and it'll be fun to define this next round of products working together," Gates said last month. When away from Microsoft's headquarters, Gates will continue to focus his attention on various philanthropic projects including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates has already given away more than $28 billion over the years. Among tech executives, Mark Zuckerberg has gained the most momentum this year. Facebook's strong stock performance has doubled Zuckerberg's net worth and at $28.5 billion, he's now within spitting distance of Forbes list mainstays like Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos. And thanks to Facebook's massive acquisition offer, WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton have joined the billionaires list.