Google, Microsoft Dominate Forbes’ List Of Tech Billionaires; Zuckerberg, Moskovitz Are The Youngest

Forbes has today published its annual list of the world’s richest people — and once again tech and its related tentacles continue to lead the top of the list. Coming in at number-one for the fourth year in a row is Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexico-based mogul who controls Latin American mobile carrier America Movil and has holdings in mobile carriers in Europe: net worth $73 billion. Microsoft’s Bill Gates continues to sit at number-two with net worth of $67 billion, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison comes in at number five overall with net worth of $43 billion.

Breaking out technology from the rest of the list (Forbes does not count Slim Helu as ‘tech’ but instead as telecoms), the very biggest tech companies continue to dominate the list. Microsoft and Google are tied for the most individuals making the top-20 richest tech people, at three apiece. In addition to Microsoft’s Gates, there is CEO Steve Ballmer at 51 overall (number 7 in tech), with net worth of $15.2 billion; and Paul Allen at 53 overall (number 8 in tech), with a net worth of $15 billion. Google, meanwhile, has CEO Larry Page at 20 (number 5 in tech) with net worth of $23 billion; Sergey Brin at 21 (number 6 in tech), net worth $22.8 billion; and Eric Schmidt at number 138 (14 in tech) at $8.2 billion.

However, although Apple continues to be the richest tech company around, its people are not billionaire superstars. The highest-ranking Apple-associated individual in the list is Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, who is at 98th with net worth of $10.7 billion.

While it’s mainly the more mature tech companies whose founders and execs are settled in at the top rankings (many of these same names have been on the Forbes’ list for years) there are some relative upstarts in the list, too: Mark Zuckerberg comes in as the ninth-richest tech mogul (66 overall) with a net worth of $13.3 billion, and youngest, too, at age 28. That’s down, however, from $17.5 billion in last year’s list — although Zuckerberg netted around $1.1 billion by selling Facebook shares in May 2012, in September 2012 he committed to holding on to all his other shares for a year, partly to shore up investor and employee confidence in the company’s stock post its rocky public listing.

It’s a measure of how old much of the list is otherwise that Zuckerberg is sandwiched between a 64 year-old and 88 year-old in the wider rankings. Tech remains a young person’s pursuit.

Zuckerberg’s former colleague Dustin Moskovitz, also 28, is worth $3.3 billion, putting him at number 353 overall and 27th in tech. Another early (if controversial) Facebooker, Eduardo Saverin, at $2.2 billion, ranks at 670.

Among others, Jeff Bezos at Amazon is the third-richest tech executive, with $25.2 billion in net worth and 19th overall.

And while Dell has fallen on some hard times of late, founder Michael Dell continues to be one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of $15.3 billion, making him the 49th richest person in the world — and 6th on Forbes’ tech-only list.

Forbes has its own methodology for how it assigns industries to different people, but it’s also worth pointing out that within the top-10 there are a number of others who are also benefitting in their fortunes from tech, even if that’s not directly the industry that is assigned to them in the rankings. They include Warren Buffet, at number-four with $53.5 billion in net worth; Li Ka-shing, at number-eight with $31 billion; and Bernard Arnault at number 10 with $29 billion in net worth.