Technology executives once again dominate Forbes’ list of the richest Americans, with half of the top ten coming in as tech-made billionaires.
While Microsoft top dog Bill Gates held down his No. 1 slot, with $59 billion and counting as he prepares to give up day-to-day involvement in his company to spend time on his philanthropic endeavors, Google wonderboys Sergey Brin and Larry Page broke into the top ten ranks for the first time this year.
Worth more than $18.5 billion apiece, Brin serves as president of technology and Page heads the product division, and as two of the youngest residents of the top ten list, they are tied in fifth place. They’re not expected to stay there long, however: Both were worth a mere $4 billion in 2004, and their growth rate has outpaced the early years of Bill Gates.
Oracle honcho Larry Ellison earned his way into the fourth spot for the second year in a row, with $26 billion and counting. Since the beginning of 2006, Ellison has purchased 19 companies for $12 billion, determined to fight off German rival SAP one acquisition at a time. Riches, however, only mean so much to Ellison, whose lifelong dream is to win the America’s Cup.
Michael Dell inched into eighth place from ninth in 2006 with more than $17.2 billion in spare change, but hopefully not at the expense of his company, which lost the number one spot in the PC market to HP last year, according to many, as a result of Dell’s no-channel practice.
Brin and Page were the only two tech execs on the list to have graduated from college.