If there’s one thing we know about tech CEOs, it’s that they tend to be rich. Okay, sure, there are probably countless tech businesses out there that either aren’t doing so well or don’t pay their top dogs extreme sums each year, but the exceptions prove the rule for the most part.
The richest names in tech have some genuinely astonishing cash behind them, and we’d be lying if we didn’t find it a little astounding to find out just how much dosh those at the top are really sitting on.
So we’ve compiled this list of the 15 richest people in tech – try not to get too jealous.
If you want to get rich, starting the world’s most powerful online retailer is a pretty good way to do it. Jeff Bezos is sitting on $113 billion, which is a sum so impossible to compute that we honestly can’t think of anything it wouldn’t buy. That said, you can pretty much expect to get used to that sort of number as you peruse this list.
Amazon is basically impossible for many people to live without, meaning that there’s a heck of a lot of money getting spent on it, all of it contributing to Jeff’s coffers. That wealth has actually taken a bit of a hit in the last couple of years as a result of his divorce – more on that later.
Bill Gates is the name that springs to mind for many of us when we think of the world’s richest people – regardless of the exact details of that list at any given time. He’s been so rich, for so long, that he’s just synonymous with wealth. In actual fact, it tots up to $98 billion right now, which is a tidy, tidy wodge of money, even if it falls short of the $100 billion mark.
That’s a pretty arbitrary line to draw anyway, so we won’t hold it against Bill.
There’s a pretty solid chance that Larry Ellison’s is the first name on this list with which you might not be particularly familiar. He’s most well-known for founding the Oracle Corporation, one of those companies that’s so big it’s hard to summarise what it encompasses.
Suffice to say that its success has made Ellison stupendously rich, his wealth still tallying up to $59 billion at the moment.
Ah, yes – the Zuck. We’d have placed him higher than fourth, if we were guessing, but fourth is where his Facebook billions land him, sitting pretty on the small matter of $54 billion. He’s a little less wealthy now than a year ago, but when you’ve got this much cash in the attic a little fluctuation is to be expected.
For a long time the CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer has diversified his wealth and bought all sorts of things, including the LA Clippers, indulging a little bit as he moves away from active business. That hasn’t dented his wealth too much though – it still stands at $52.7 billion, demonstrating the enduring nature of mountains of money.
He might not be Google’s CEO any more, but Larry Page hasn’t exactly lost out after his time with the search giant. His co-founder is next on this list, and it’s no surprise that founding Google would land you in this company, given the enduring dominance of the search engine and its various apps and services in the modern world. For Page, that’s added up to $50.9 billion.
Brin probably won’t be too fussed that he’s below Page in the wealth standings, given their long cooperation and partnership. He rings in with $49.1 billion of his own, having recently stepped back from being President of Alphabet Inc. Both he and Page retain massive sway over the company they shaped, though, with their status as internet trailblazers similarly assured.
To many Western readers, Alibaba is a name that doesn’t necessarily translate to retail dominance, but its online shopping empire is simply enormous, challenging Amazon’s status as the default online shop. Jack Ma co-founded it and has $38.8 billion to call on as a result.
Tencent’s online gaming empire in China is hard to overestimate, and Ma Huateng founded the business, as well as remaining its chairman and CEO to this day. He’s got $38.1 billion to show for it, alongside huge influence in how people use their mobile phones and consume entertainment.
Getting divorced from Jeff Bezos can be a real money-spinner – it’s left Mackenzie Bezos with the small matter of $36 billion to play with, all derived from the same tech enterprises that got Jeff rich. She’s pledged to give huge swathes of it away, but for now she’s got the world as her oyster.
You might not have realised that Dell computers were named for the business’s founder, but Michael Dell shouldn’t be overlooked – he’s $22.9 billion to reflect on. The actual business might not be thriving at the moment, but when you’ve got that much moolah you’re unlikely to lose it all quickly.
William Lei Ding
NetEase is another gaming giant from China, with Ding at the helm, which has seen his wealth soar to $17 billion, and it’s climbing all the time. He could be a big name for the future of tech wealth.
Colin Zheng Huang
Similarly up-and-coming is Huang, chairman and CEO of Pinduoduo, a growing e-commerce site in China that’s already catapulted him into the wealth stratosphere. He’s now got $16.5 billion behind him, and he’s not even 40.
Laurene Powell Jobs
When Steve Jobs passed away, Laurene Powell Jobs inherited a huge fortune, and she’s still got around $16.4 billion to call upon, even after founding the already influential Emerson Collective.
TikTok exploded onto the scene in the last year, becoming the next big thing in social video, and Yiming is reaping the rewards, with his personal wealth hitting $16.2 billion. That’s roughly $16 for every download of TikTok overall, if you were wondering.