Microsoft boss Bill Gates doesn't want to be the world's richest man

Posted by bink on May 4 2006, 11:27 AM. Posted in Bill Gates.

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 television interview.

Gates is ranked by Forbes magazine as the world's richest individual, with an estimated wealth of about $50 billion US.

"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 US. 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."

The Microsoft Corp. chairman also 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 US.

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."