This is something that has always made me curious as heck. I don't really understand how corporate system works so please forgive me if the answer is extremely obvious. I realize Microsoft's history, their partnership with IBM, their enormous success etc.
But how did Bill Gates end up the world's richest man? If my understanding is correct, he didn't get money every time someone bought Microsoft's software (did he?). According to yahoo finance he now owns a considerably low part of Microsoft (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=MSFT+Major+Holders).
So how exactly did Bill Gates actually reach his level of wealth? Did he at some point sell a large part of his shares for lots of money?
Again, please forgive me if the answer is fairly obvious.