Tech billionaires

Tech Blog

Forbes has compiled a list of top 15 tech billionaires. As to be expected all are Americans, except for three.  The lone European representation comes from the German software firm SAP. Its co-founder Hasso Plattner started the company with four former IBM colleagues.

 In 2012, he was worth $7.2 billion, according to Forbes. From China, comes Robin Li, creator of the search engine Baidu. He started his career as an engineer at Infoseek and was worth $10.2 billion at the last count, which makes him mainland China’s richest person. The third non-American in the list is Azim Premji, who had $15.9 billion in 2012. Wipro may be a mid-size company by global standards. But Premji’s overwhelming ownership of this publicly listed company propels him to the league.  
Among American tech billionaires, there are no surprises, the usual suspects feature in the list. Bill Gates was worth $61 billion last year.  Forbes notes that Microsoft accounts for less than one-fourth of his worth. He has parked rest of his fortune in private equity, bonds and stocks. Microsoft contributes two other billionaires as well. The company’s co-founder Paul Allen was worth $14.2 billion and CEO Steve Ballmer was valued at $15.7 billion. Another company contributes three billionaires in the list: Google. Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page were worth $18.7 billion each. Former CEO Eric Schmidt, who was brought to provide ‘adult supervision’ when the company was started by the two graduates stepped down last year with $6.9 billion. The stock market has made Microsoft executives richer and slightly shrunk the worth of Google billionaires.

Steve Jobs' widow Laurene Powell inherited $9 billion after the Apple founder passed away. She first met Jobs in 1989 when he visited Stanford University to give a lecture, where she was studying. The world's largest private software company, SAS’s co-founder James Goodnight is worth $7.3 billion. Michael Dell ($15.9 billion), Jeff Bezos of Amazon ($18.4 billion), Larry Ellison of Oracle ($36 billion) and Mark Zukerberg of Facebook  ($17.5 billion) are the other names in the list. 

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