Gates, Ellison and Bezos lead in Forbes’ list of richest global tech billionaires

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Microsoft's Bill Gates was the unsurprising leader of the first Forbes list of the richest global tech billionaires, while Larry Ellison Founder and CTO of Oracle came in second as Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos saw his personal fortune surge

American billionaires have dominated FORBES’ first ever list of the 100 Richest People In Tech. Just over half, or 51 people, are from the U.S. Tech barons from Asia made a strong showing as well, with 33 people hailing from that region.

Eight people from Europe made the cut – a minimum net worth US $2 billion — as did two from the Middle East (namely, from Israel) and one from Latin America. Forty of the 100 live in California.

Bill Gates still remains the world’s richest man among tech tycoons, with a net worth of US $79.6 billion. Gates, who left the Microsoft +0.43 per cent board in 2014 to focus full time on philanthropy, continues to sell shares in the software firm he founded with Paul Allen 40 years ago. Less than 13 per cent of his estimated fortune now comes from Microsoft stock.

Number two on the list is Larry Ellison, founder of database software firm Oracle, with a net worth estimated at US $50 billion. Ellison ceded the CEO spot at Oracle last year to two co-CEOs, Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, but still serves as Oracle’s chairman and chief technology officer. Oracle is finding it harder to grow as a company; revenues for the fiscal year that ended in May were down slightly from the previous year to $38.2 billion.

The third richest on the list is Jeff Bezos, whose net worth shot up dramatically in July after Amazon.com surprised analysts and reported a rare profit for its second quarter. Amazon typically loses money.

Forbes pegs Bezos’ net worth at US $47.8 billion, more than 90 per cent of which lies in his 18 per cent stake in Amazon. Bezos’ fortune has soared up US $13 billion since the beginning of the year; for the 2015 Forbes World’s Billionaires List, which was published in early March, he was worth US $34.8 billion. The July surge in Amazon stocked propelled Bezos into the top 10 richest in the world for the first time.

Altogether, the world’s 100 richest tech billionaires are worth US $842.9 billion. Just seven women made the list, the wealthiest of whom is Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, with an estimated net worth of US $21.4 billion.

The average age of the group is 53, which is a decade younger than the average age of all billionaires; 15 of the 100 are under age 40. The youngest is Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, who is 25 and worth an estimated US $2.1 billion; the oldest is Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, who is 86 and worth an estimated US $6 billion.

Nearly all of the 100 are self-made billionaires: 94 made their own luck, 3 inherited their fortunes, and 3 have inherited fortunes but have been actively expanding them.

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