Down, out or Deceased
SEVENTEEN BILLIONAIRES dropped from the ranks of The Forbes 400 this past year, with divorce, a sandwich slump and philanthropy putting a dent in three prominent fortunes. Many others simply failed to keep up, falling somewhere south of this year’s $2.1 billion cutoff for inclusion.
Subway, the sandwich chain cofounded by Peter Buck, is going through tough times. Sales have slid for several years, and in 2017 the company closed nearly 900 stores (net) across the U.S. In May it tapped its first CEO from outside its founding families. Subway’s woes, plus some charitable giving, sent Buck’s net worth down 35% over the past 12 months. Turns out Reid Hoffman, cofounder of Linkedin (he sold it to Microsoft in 2016), doles out donations the way his former business sprays emails. Forbes learned that he has quietly given away $1.5 billion in recent years, leaving him with just $1.8 billion. Hoffman signed the Giving Pledge this year, publicly vowing to part with more than half his lifetime wealth. He’s getting close. The marriage of ex-pimco investing baron Bill Gross ended with a nasty asset tussle after his wife, Sue, filed for divorce in 2016, citing irreconcilable differences. She ultimately walked away with over $1 billion, including a $36 million house in Laguna Beach, California, half of the couple’s $56 million art collection and two of their three cats. That’s a lot of scratch.