Top CEOs and Founders

Gina Rinehart (68)

Gina Rinehart, Lang Hancock’s only child, dropped out of university to work with her father at Hancock Prospecting, and when he died in 1992, leaving a bankrupt estate, she succeeded him as executive chairman. She transformed a firm in dire financial straits into Australia’s largest private corporation and one of the world’s major mining houses.

When Rinehart acquired Hancock Prospecting, its entire wealth was estimated to be A$75 million, excluding group liabilities and contingent liabilities. She supervised the company’s progress over the next decade, and thanks to the iron ore boom of the early 2000s, she became a nominal billionaire in 2006. Rinehart began to diversify her interests outside of the mining business in the 2010s. She invested heavily in Ten Network Holdings and Fairfax Media, and she also ventured into agriculture, purchasing many cattle stations and selling them within a decade.

Rinehart is Australia’s richest person. Her fortune culminated at roughly A$29 billion in 2012, when she surpassed Christy Walton as the world’s richest woman and was named to Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Rinehart’s net wealth declined dramatically over the next few years as the Australian mining sector slowed. According to Forbes, her net worth in 2019 was projected to be $14.8 billion, as reported on the list of Australia’s 50 richest individuals.

Image by Patrick Hamilton

CEO of Hancock Prospecting

Net Worth: $41.7 billion