Gates Doesn't Like Being World's Richest Man
Most people probably dream of being the world's richest person -- except, perhaps,
the man himself.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates told an online advertising conference Wednesday
that he'd prefer not to be the richest person in the world.
"I wish I wasn't," he said in a session in which he was being interviewed
by Donny Deutsch, the host of an interview show on CNBC television.
Gates is ranked by Forbes magazine as the world's richest individual, with
an estimated wealth of about $50 billion (euro39.61 billion).
"There's nothing good that comes out of that," he said. "You
get more visibility as a result of it."
Gates is doing his part to share the wealth. His Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
is the world's largest philanthropy, with an endowment of $29.1 billion (euro23.05
billion). He was not asked about giving away more money sooner.
Still, Gates said he can go out and do everyday things like other people, despite
his wealth and celebrity.
"I'm not bothered when I'm out in public or anything," he said. "Someone
might ask for a signature, rarely, but that's not a difficult thing."
And the Microsoft Corp. chairman expressed a kinship for at least one other
person in his exclusive club, saying during the session that investor Warren
Buffett -- ranked by Forbes as the world's second-wealthiest -- is the person
he's learned the most from.
Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has an estimated wealth of
$42 billion (euro33.28 billion).
Gates also said he wouldn't follow in the footsteps of other wealthy Americans
by entering politics.
"I certainly will never be a politician," he said. Asked why not,
he said: "For every reason. I wouldn't like it, I wouldn't be elected.
I'm better at what I'm doing."