The media mogul and Weight Watchers spokeswoman set a new record as the first black female entrepreneur on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
That’s the power of Oprah.
The media mogul hit another record-breaking career milestone on Monday, as her $4 billion fortune made her the first African American female entrepreneur on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the 500 richest people in the world.
Winfrey, 64, comes in at No. 494, just behind entrepreneur Mark Cuban and business magnate and former politician Ross Perot. The queen of media’s fortune has increased $427 million this year alone thanks to her stake in Weight Watchers, a natural extension of her personal brand of self-improvement. Winfrey bought stock in the weight loss company in 2015 for $43.5 million, when she agreed to serve as a spokesperson for the company. Her investment has grown to more than $400 million since then. WW’s share price more than doubled, closing at a record $100.37 on Monday; a major comeback since Winfrey joined the brand three years ago.
The savvy businesswoman and philanthropist has made the majority of her fortune from ownership of the Oprah Winfrey Show, her iconic talk show which aired on CBS for 25 years. Winfrey also founded her own cable network, OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network), in 2011. And more recently, she signed a multi-year, $1 billion dollar deal with Apple to serve as a host for its new original programing.
“Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” Apple said in a press release.
The tech giant has not yet unveiled specifics regarding the new collaboration with Winfrey, such as whether the video series will fold into iTunes or on a new platform.
It’s been a banner year for the “A Wrinkle in Time” actress, whose powerful and unifying speech at the Golden Globes award ceremony in January prompted an online campaign from fans urging her to run for president in 2020. Winfrey, however, has no plans to get in involved in politics. “It’s not something that interests me,” she told Style magazine.
Winfrey’s inclusion on the billionaire’s list is a small, but important step for female entrepreneurs. Women only make up 65 people on the list, with just six of whom are female entrepreneurs.
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