- Forbes published its 2019 billionaires list this week.
- Tech CEOs and founders feature prominently.
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos topped the list once again.
Forbes has released its latest billionaires list. As ever, tech moguls loom large, with familiar faces laced throughout Forbes’ ranking.
For some, it was another very good year in the elite club. But the personal wealth of others took a battering, not least Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who fell down the ranking after a disastrous year for his social network.
Scroll on to see the world’s 13 richest tech billionaires, ranked in ascending order.
13. Masayoshi Son. Net worth: $21.6 billion
Masayoshi Son is the CEO and founder of the Japanese megafund Softbank, which has pumped money into high-profile tech companies like Uber and WeWork.
This year Softbank took a hit following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, due to its links to Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
12. Elon Musk. Net worth: $22.3 billion
- REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
It was a wild year for the Tesla CEO, with numerous scandals and Tesla’s stock zooming up and down in tune with his erratic behaviour. Both Tesla and his rocket company SpaceX laid off significant chunks of their staff in January of this year. Musk remains lavishly wealthy, however.
11. Azim Premji. Net worth: $22.6 billion
Premji, sometimes referred to as the “Bill Gates of India” is the founder of IT company Wipro.
10. Michael Dell. Net worth: $34.3 billion
- REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
The CEO of Dell Technologies, most of Michael Dell’s fortune is tied up in his private investment firm MSD Capital, according to Forbes.
9. Jack Ma. Net worth: $37.3 billion
- Ruben Sprich/Reuters
Ma is the richest man in China. He announced in September 2018 that in one year he would step down as the chairman of Alibaba – the largest e-commerce site in China – and be succeeded by CEO Daniel Zhang.
8. Ma Huateng. Net worth: $38.8 billion
- Bobby Yip/Reuters
Ma is chair of the Chinese tech giant Tencent. Tencent owns messenger service Wechat, which is more or less ubiquitous in China.
7. Steve Ballmer. Net worth: $41.2 billion
Ballmer left as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, but he still ranks highly on Forbes’ list at number 19. Ballmer and his wife Connie gave away $295 million to philanthropic causes in 2018.
6. Sergey Brin. Net worth: $49.8 billion
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Google cofounder and current president of Google’s parent company Alphabet, Sergey Brin, still takes an active role in company all-hands meetings, according to reports which surfaced last year.
5. Larry Page. Net worth: $50.8 billion
- Andrew Kelly/Reuters
Larry Page, the other Google cofounder, outranks Sergey Brin by a narrow $1 billion.
4. Mark Zuckerberg. Net worth: $62.3 billion
- Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook
Facebook’s year of scandal took a toll on CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune. It sunk nearly $9 billion since last year and he fell three places down the ranking. He was also usurped as the youngest self-made billionaire this year by Kylie Jenner.
3. Larry Ellison. Net worth: $62.5 billion
- Kimberly White/Getty Images
Ellison is the founder and CTO of Silicon Valley major player Oracle. A two-time college dropout, Ellison was also appointed to Tesla’s board of directors late last year.
2. Bill Gates. Net worth: $96.5 billion
- John Lamparski/Getty Images
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates remains a board member at the company, but Forbes notes that he has sold or given away much of his stock, and owns just over 1% of shares.
Known for his philanthropy, Forbes reports that Gates has donated $35.8 billion worth of Microsoft stock to his charitable organization, the Gates Foundation.
1. Jeff Bezos. Net worth: $131 billion
- REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
At the top of the list sits Amazon CEO, owner of the Washington Post, and richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos.
Bezos was recently caught up in a firestorm after he announced his divorce from wife MacKenzie and texts from him to his reported lover Lauren Sanchez were leaked to the National Enquirer.
Bezos mounted his own investigation into how the paper got hold of the texts, and subsequently published a blog claiming that the Enquirer was blackmailing him with sensitive photographs.
Bezos also donated $2 billion to charity this year, pumping it into a fund to support underserved communities and education programs.