Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, CEO of the Kingdom Holding Company, has revealed he plans to give his entire £28bn fortune to charity. His company had a market cap of over $18bn in 2013, and his business interests cover everything from Twitter to Citigroup to 21st Century Fox. He’s believed to be the world’s 20th richest, but said he hoped the donation would help establish a “better world of tolerance, acceptance, equality and opportunity for all”.
He hadn’t yet specified when this gift would be occurring, though he did say that since most of his wealth “was achieved from this blessed country”, he would be making Saudi Arabia his number one priority – “after which our philanthropic efforts will extend to countries around the world”.
Some big names are renowned for their philanthropic sides – Bill Gates of course features on the list. But we’ve gathered some of the most generous business founders and CEOs out there – whose donations and charitable endeavours haven’t been carried out anonymously – some of whom you may be less aware of.
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Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner – founders of Cisco
Bosack and his ex-wife received $170m in stock when they left multinational corporation Cisco and have donated 70 per cent of what they received from the company, as well as plugging $34m into the Bosack/Kruger foundation which focuses on animal welfare.
Bosack had been credited with pioneering and advancing the commercialisation of routing technology and the profound changes this helped bring about in the computer industry.
The company went public in 1990 – the same year Lerner was fired by management and Bosack resigned. Evidently the duo’s feeling of goodwill hadn’t been hampered as they established the aforementioned charitable foundation, which finances a wide range of animal welfare and science projects, including The Centre for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington.
Gordon Moore – founder of Intel
With a net worth of $6.7bn, you may not be particularly surprised that Moore is pretty giving when it comes to sharing the joy. A closer look at some of his areas of donation however, indicate that Moore is particularly generous – along with his wife Betty, he has agreed to The Giving Pledge – set up by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett – which means they’ll give away at least half of their wealth to philanthropy.
Examples of his charitable giving so far includes a $60m donation over the years through 30 grants to Conservation International, $20m to the Wildlife Conservation Society and $100m to the University California nursing school.
He also set up the Gordon and Betty Moore foundation with his wife in 2000, with a gift worth around $5bn. The pair’s donation to Caltech – of $600m – is believed to be the largest gift to an institution of higher education. Moore said he hoped it would keep it at the forefront of research and technology.
Bill and Melinda Gates – founder of Microsoft
No list of generous businesspeople could be complete without the founder of Microsoft. He was recently declared the richest man in the world for the 16th time (taking the top spot over Mexican businessman Carlos Slim), but regularly seeks to undercut that through huge investment in charity and other causes.
Gates is probably the most well-known philanthropist out there, giving away more than any other person – including $28bn on initiatives for better health, education and economic development in developing countries (of which $10bn was for developing and distributing vaccines for children in developing countries) and $210m to Cambridge University Development Office for a global scholarship programme.
Gates and his wife Melinda have reportedly given away over $29bn in total and received the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy. What particularly sets these two apart is their commitment to personally involve themselves in projects – utilising their capabilities as well as their finances to assess problems, strategising how to positively turn them around and actively carrying them out. As Forbes said when it came to the decision – they have turned philanthropy into their full-time professions.
Read on to find about the boss who took 6,400 employees on holiday and the CEO who boosted the salaries of all his workers by taking a pay cut.