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Andrew Forrest unseated Rich Bosses List by WiseTech Global founder Richard White

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A little-known executive who once worked as a guitar tech for AC/DC has unseated mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest as Australia’s richest boss.

WiseTech founder Richard White took the top spot on AFR’s Rich Bosses List after Dr. Forrest announced Wednesday night that he was separating from his wife of 31 years, Nicola Forrest, wiping out $20 billions of his personal fortune.

He Rich Bosses List ranks the wealthiest executives of the 300 largest companies on the Australian Stock Exchange based on the value of their stakes in the business.

WiseTech Global founder Richard White is now Australia’s richest boss ousting mining magnate Andrew Forrest (pictured with CSIRO scientist and Genics founder Melony Sellers)

Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest and Nicola Forrest (pictured), who have been married for 31 years and have a net worth of more than $30 billion, said they will now be living apart.

Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and Nicola Forrest (pictured), who have been married for 31 years and have a net worth of more than $30 billion, said they will now be living apart.

WiseTech is a software company focused entirely on the logistics industry that Mr. White founded in 1994 after a few other successful businesses and a brief career in a rock’n’roll band when he was 20 years old.

The company listed on the ASX in 2016 when White was 60 and made him a billionaire the following year.

White has described himself as a “refugee” from the music industry who is good friends with iconic Australian band The Angels and once worked repairing guitars for AC/DC’s Angus and Malcolm Young.

Although his first love was music, he decided the business world was a better fit for him: he first made money repairing guitars, then moved into stage lighting.

He felt that the lighting equipment he was repairing was substandard, so he started making his own, eventually setting up a factory and developing one of the world’s first digital lighting consoles.

In the 1990s, he was running a consulting business working for a few logistics companies, and he noticed a gap in the market.

Shipping companies, importers and exporters had to physically have people in every country where they did business to navigate regulatory, compliance and customs hurdles – an incredibly fragmented way of working.

WiseTech established itself as software to centralize and streamline cross-border operations, gradually building a cloud-based platform where information entered at one point in the system was instantly available elsewhere in the company.

“My first business was called Rock Repairs because I repaired rock guitars,” Mr White recently told Sky News.

“It was very profitable but was limited by the hours of the day.”

Richard White (center) speaking with the founders of Shearwater Capital at a recent dinner sharing some of his tips for success

Richard White (center) speaking with the founders of Shearwater Capital at a recent dinner sharing some of his tips for success

‘Then my friend asked me to build a lighting kit for him and using my father’s workshop I took over.

‘When I started working I realized that the parts were not built correctly and they were not designed correctly, so I discovered a lot of things. How to cast aluminum, how to weld them differently, how to use different types of tubes, how to make them stronger.

“We got lots, lots of orders and that became my core business, which was very scalable and we went through four different factories as we expanded.”

White said what he learned about scaling a business was one of the main reasons WiseTech, which now employs about 2,000 software engineers, has become such a success.

“With software there are no physical assets so it can be easily replicated and the inputs are all human effort and finding ways to solve complex problems in new and better ways.”

‘When I founded WiseTech I had read In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and the only thing that stood out from that book was sticking to doing something.’

“I had been a musician, a guitar repairman, a lighting manufacturer and a wholesaler, so I said this (WiseTech) is my last business and I’m going to keep working on it and make it a very successful company.”

White speaks to staff at WiseTech, the company launched on the ASX in 2016 with a value of $1.1 billion and has risen to be worth over $10 billion

White speaks to staff at WiseTech, the company launched on the ASX in 2016 with a value of $1.1 billion and has risen to be worth over $10 billion

White’s $10.5 billion stake in his company puts him ahead of Forrest who, after a realignment due to the separation from his wife, has a $9.2 billion stake in Fortescue Metals Group.

AFR 2023 RICH BOSS LIST

Note that this tracks holdings in publicly traded companies, it is separate from the Rich List which tracks personal wealth.

1. Richard White – WiseTech Global $10.5 billion

2. Andrew Forrest – Fortescue Metals Group $9.2 billion

3. Alan Wilson – Reece Group $6.7 million

4. Sum Hupert – Pro Medicus $1.8 billion

5. Anthony Hall – Pro Medicus $1.7 billion

Fortescue said that there will be no change in the operation of the mining giant, despite the breakdown of the marriage between two of its main shareholders.

The Forrests have confirmed their separation, which they say will not affect their joint philanthropic and corporate ventures.

“After 31 years of marriage, we have made the decision to live apart,” the couple said in a statement.

‘Our friendship and commitment to our family remains strong.

They said there was “no impact on the operations, control or direction” of Fortescue, his charitable arm, the Minderoo Foundation, or his private company Tattarang.

“We will continue our shared mission to create and give away our wealth to meet global and community challenges.”

Dr. Forrest was estimated to be the second richest person in the country in terms of personal wealth, behind mining billionaire Gina Rinehart.

In May, the Australian Financial Review’s Rich List put Dr. Forrest’s net worth at $33.29 billion.

Most of his wealth comes from his stake in Fortescue, in which he and Mrs. Forrest have a stake of more than a third.

The split will see him lose close to $20 billion and see him drop to the eighth richest Australian.

Australia's richest couple insist their split will have no impact on the strategic direction of their mining empire or philanthropic ventures.

Australia’s richest couple insist their split will have no impact on the strategic direction of their mining empire or philanthropic ventures.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Fortescue said there would be no change in the mining company’s control, management or majority stake through Tattarang or Dr Forrest’s other associated entities.

“Dr. Andrew Forrest and Nicola Forrest will transfer their wealth to charity throughout their lives,” the company said.

In 2013, the Forrests were the first Australians to sign the Giving Pledge, a vow also taken by Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Elon Musk, to donate the majority of their fortunes.

Jackyhttps://whatsnew2day.com/
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