Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

World's billionaires: Those who fell off the list

March's pandemic crash erased nearly all the stock-market gains enjoyed by billionaires over the past year. It also knocked many from the billionaire ranks entirely. Altogether, 267 from last year's list of 2,153 (12.4 percent) fell below the $1 billion threshold this year, including 127 who tumbled off in early March. Twenty-one others died

Published: Jul 3, 2020 04:57:38 PM IST

World's billionaires: Those who fell off the listDo Won
Image: Getty Images

Even before Covid-19 crushed retail, Do Won (above) and Jin Sook Chang’s apparel chain, Forever 21, had fallen out of fashion. Sales dropped significantly at its mall-based stores, pushing it into bankruptcy in September 2019. The couple agreed in February to sell the closely held company for $81 million to a group that includes mall operators Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties. It was a stunning reversal of fortune for the two, who emigrated to Los Angeles from South Korea in 1981 with little more than a high school education. Their fortune was once as much as $5.9 billion; today they’re worth less than $100 million.

World's billionaires: Those who fell off the listDani Reiss
Image: Mark Blinch / Reuters

The stuffing has come out of Toronto-based Canada Goose, known for its $900-plus parkas, as shares plummeted 71 percent in the past year. Civil unrest in Hong Kong, a key market, hit sales long before the coronavirus. The net worth of its CEO, Dani Reiss, fell by $700 million, to $600 million.

World's billionaires: Those who fell off the listDavid Koch
Image: Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters

David Koch was worth $42.5 billion when he died on August 23, 2019. With his brother Charles, he owned America’s second-largest private company, Koch Industries, the $110 billion (estimated sales) conglomerate that makes everything from Brawny paper towels to asphalt. A prominent philanthropist, he gave away more than $1.3 billion, including a $225 million commitment to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

(This story appears in the 17 July, 2020 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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