The Forbes 400
For the second year in a row, Austin's Elon Musk earned the crown as the wealthiest person in America. But other Austin-area billionaires are not far behind, according to the newForbes 400, a list of the 400 richest people in the United States for 2023.
According to Forbes, Musk's net worth in 2023 is estimated at $251 billion, an amount that has plateaued since 2022. Musk, 52, is the founder of Tesla, SpaceX, Boring Company, Neuralink, xAI, and most recently, X (formerly known as Twitter). Forbes goes on to say Musk has spent the majority of the year arguing with public figures on the social media platform.
"His targets have included Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (over his proposed peace plan to end the war with Russia) and the foreign minister of Taiwan (over whether the territory should be considered part of China)," Forbes says. "Despite the noise and an 8 percent drop in Tesla stock, Musk is just as wealthy as he was last year, after SpaceX hit a $150 billion valuation in a June tender offer and he got a fresh set of Tesla stock options, worth $5.7 billion, in January."
Right behind Musk is Michael Dell – the chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies – as the second most affluent person in Texas and the No. 11 richest person in America. His 2023 net worth is an estimated $71.5 billion, which is a major leap from last year's $50 billion, to which Forbes says can be attributed to the AI industry's pressing demand for servers.
"Dell himself is also in line for a potential $20 billion payday this fall if his cloud computing spinoff VMware is finally sold to semiconductor giant Broadcom for $61 billion after a year of regulatory battles," Forbes says. "It’s just the latest deal for Dell, who has shepherded the company he started as a teenager through multiple restructurings, including two IPOs 30 years apart."
Dell, 58, also maintains a philanthropic reputation in Austin – most recently through a $6.25 million donation to help renovate the Dell Jewish Community Center, which held a grand opening ceremony back in May of this year.
Forbes' list, published October 3, is a definitive ranking of the wealthiest Americans, using interviews, financial data, and documentation provided by billionaires and their companies.
According to the report, America's elite class is now worth $4.5 trillion total, which ties a record previously set in 2021.
Here's how the rest of Austin's billionaires fared on this year's list:
- Private equity firm CEORobert Smith ranks No. 89 nationally with an estimated net worth of $9.2 billion.
- Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia ranks 96th nationally with an estimated net worth of $8.9 billion.
- Vodka titan Bert “Tito” Beveridge ties for No. 140 nationally with an estimated net worth of $7.2 billion.
- IT entrepreneur Thai Lee ties for 204th nationally with an estimated net worth of $5.3 billion.
- Software entrepreneur Joe Liemandt ranks 215th nationally with an estimated net worth of $5.1 billion.
- Eco-friendly home solutions CEO Hayes Barnard ties for No. 304 nationally with an estimated net worth of $3.7 billion.
- Investment magnate Drayton McLane, Jr. of Temple ranks No. 366 nationally with an estimated net worth of $3.1 billion.
- Patrón Spirits founder John Paul DeJoria ranked 379th nationally with an estimated net worth of $3 billion.
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