From connecting with our friends and booking airline tickets, to paying tuition and attending online classes, technology has definitely changed the way we live our lives.
If you’re interested in the names of the people who’ve made it big in the tech industry, here’s the list of the 10 richest tech billionaires in the world. They are known for introducing technological innovations that have shaped the way we work, communicate and do business.
10. Azim Premji – $11.2B
Indian business tycoon Azim Premji owns 79 percent of Wipro and also owns a private equity fund, PremjiInvest, which manages his $1 billion personal portfolio. However, he is best known for his generous philanthropist endeavours. Just this February, he gave away $2.3 billion worth of shares in his outsourcing firm Wipro to his education-focused foundation. He also co-hosted a philanthropy meeting in June 2012 in Bangalore alongside Bill Gates.
9. Mark Zuckerberg – $13.3B
Mark Zuckerberg wrote the code for Facebook in 2003 while he was attending Harvard as a sophomore. Little did he know that the exclusive Harvard online community he was building would turn out to be the #1 social networking website in the world. Though his rise to fame and fortune may not have been the smoothest journey – what with a lawsuit filed by three Harvard seniors against him on his sophomore year, as well as the constant media scrutiny on what he would do next – he is certainly making a name for himself in the tech industry. The company listed $5B for its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in May 2012, making it the biggest in tech history and the largest in Internet history. Hollywood also picked up on Facebook’s backstory by launching a film called The Social Network starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song and Armie Hammer.
8. Paul Allen – $15B
Co-founder of Windows, the world’s largest software company, Paul Allen is not just a tech guy -he is also a sports guy. He owns two professional American sports teams, namely the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks, earning himself the title of richest sports-team owner in America. Recently, he’s been selling off his Microsoft shares to diversify his assets even more. His multi-billion dollar investment portfolio comprises energy companies, technology companies, real estate holdings, and stakes in other media companies.
7. Steve Ballmer – $15.2B
Currently the Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer is only the second person after Roberto Goizueta to become a US billionaire due to the stock options he received as an employee in the company, instead of being a founder or a relative of a founder. Steve has been in the company for almost 33 years, and has served as the CEO of the company for the past 13 years. Under his tutelage, Microsoft’s stocks went down 1.32% over the past five years. In addition to slumping PC sales and its inability to compete with Apple and Google in the mobile industry, the company’s newest product, the Windows 8 tablet called the Surface, is not getting enough traction to offset the decline.
6. Michael Dell – $15.3B
Michael Dell is the founder and chief executive of Dell Inc., one of the world’s leading sellers of personal computers. Recently, he announced his interest in taking the business private for $24.4B, after showing no signs of stock performance improvement in the Wall Street for four years. While this may be the biggest leveraged buy-out since the Great Recession, one could not deny the fact that the company has been instrumental in shaping what the tech industry looks like today.
5. Sergey Brin – $22.8B
Google co-founder Sergey Brin is known for his involvement in the concept of Google Glass, which he recently tested out on the New York City subway. He got his degree at the University of Maryland and completed his PhD in Computer Science at Stanford University. He left the management of Google’s day-to-day operations with Larry Page, and assumed the role of director of special projects at the Mountain View, California-based search giant. His other projects include futuristic endeavours such as driverless cars.
4. Larry Page – $23B
Larry Page, Google’s cofounder and CEO since April 2011, is very well known in the industry for inventing PageRank, the first importance-measuring algorithm put to use by Google. Aside from inventing a huge part of the world’s most popular search engine, Page also heavily invests in the potential of Android, Chrome, YouTube and Google+. He acknowledges the need to shift focus into mobile, as Google’s desktop search business is beginning to mature.
3. Jeff Bezos – $25.2B
Founder and CEO of the world’s biggest online marketplace, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.com definitely revolutionized the way we buy and sell goods. It’s safe to say he played a very important role in the growth of e-commerce and the use of the Internet as a sales platform. To further reinforce his promising vision of a fully digital world, in November 2007, he also launched the popular Kindle electronic book reader, thereby enabling users to shop, download, browse and read books and magazines through the Internet.
2. Larry Ellison – $43B
Despite dropping out of University of Illinois after his second year of college, Larry Ellison still made big waves for himself in the tech industry with the incorporation of Oracle. He co-founded the software company back in 1977, and is now the top-paid chief executive in the world. Just recently, he bought 98% o the Hawaiian Island of Lanal from David Murdock for $500 million. His purchase gave him almost the entire 141-square mile island, including two resort hotels and a housing development.
1. Bill Gates – $67B
Touted as the world’s most generous person, Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft and also the richest tech guy in the world. Despite only owning a 5% stake in Microsoft, his net worth still saw a huge increase this year thanks to his investments in private equity, bonds, and stocks in Ecolab, Televisa and FEMSA.
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