L’Oréal heiress Bettencourt Meyers has taken the spot from Alice Walton as the richest woman in the world. Forbes magazine released its annual billionaire list Tuesday. The granddaughter of L’Oréal’s founder Eugène Schueller, 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. Her 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.
L’Oréal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers tops the charts in Forbes’ list of richest women. Worth $49.3 billion, Meyers is the granddaughter of L’Oréal founder Eugène Schueller. She is also the chairwoman of her family’s holding company and the 15th richest person in the world.
Meyers (65) debuted in the 2018 richest women list at the second position after Alice Walton, the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. Before Meyers, her mother Liliane Bettencourt graced the richest women list every year since Forbes first published it in 1987. She died in 2017.
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Walton settles at the number 2 spot in this year’s Forbes richest women list. The world’s 17th richest person is the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton but instead of working for Walmart like her siblings, Walton has focused on curating art, featuring works of Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko and others.
With a fortune of $44 billion, Walton (69) sits on the board of the Walton Family Foundation, which disbursed $536 million in 2017, much of it to educational and environmental causes.
The third richest woman in the world, Jacqueline Mars owns one-third of Mars, the world’s largest candy-maker. Jacqueline (79) is the granddaughter of Frank Mars who founded the company in 1911.
She has worked for the company for 20 years and served on the board until 2016. Worth $23.9 billion, Jacqueline is also the world’s 33rd richest person.
The sixth richest person in China, Yang (37) has a fortune of $22.1 billion and is the fourth richest woman in the world. Yang owns 57% of real estate developer Country Garden Holdings. She also chairs Bright Scholar Education Holdings, a Chinese education company that went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007. Yang’s aunt, Yang Meirong was a member of the 2017 Forbes China Rich List.
At $21 billion, Susanne Klatten is the fifth richest woman in the world. She owns 19.2% of automaker BMW. Her brother owns 23.7%. Klatten is an economist with an MBA degree. Klatten (56) is the sole owner and deputy chairman of Altana AG,a German chemical and pharmaceutical company, founded by her grandfather.
Her mother, Johanna, was the third wife of legendary industrialist Herbert Quandt, who guided BMW to preeminence in the luxury market.
Laurene Powell Jobs & family
Powell Jobs (55) has $20 billion from stakes in Apple and Disney inherited from her late husband Steve Jobs. In 20014, she founded Emerson Collective,a for-profit social impact firm. In 2017 she took a majority stake in Atlantic Magazine and has gone on to invest in nonprofit publications from Mother Jones to ProPublica.