Tech executives lard richest Americans list

Tech executives lard richest Americans list

Gates still number one as Google founders break into top 10

Technology executives dominated the top 10 of Forbes magazine's list of 400 richest Americans this year, with Microsoft co-founder and chairman, Bill Gates, retaining his place at the top of the annual list for the 14th time. According to Forbes, Gates is worth $US59 billion.

In all, five of the top 10 are technology executives. Larry Ellison from Oracle and Michael Dell from Dell were number 4 and 8, respectively. Oracle's chairman is worth $US26 billion, according to Forbes, while Dell's net worth is $US17.2 billion.

Breaking the top 10 for the first time were Google wunderkinds, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who also were among the youngest of the top 400 richest Americans. Both Google co-founders and co-presidents are 34 and shared the number 5 spot with a net worth of $US18.5 million; only the 317th richest American John Arnold, a hedge-fund billionaire in Houston, is younger than Brin and Page. Google's Page also caught up to Brin's bank account in 2007. Last year, Brin held the number 12 spot at $US14.1 billion in net worth, while Page was a hair behind at number 13 with $US14 billion.

Number two on the list was Gates's friend, Warren Buffett, of Nebraska-based holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, who has pledged a significant amount of his wealth to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Forbes said Buffet was worth $US52 billion. While Sheldon Adelson, with a net worth of $US28 billion, no doubt owes his number-three spot to his Las Vegas casino and hotel holdings, he's a familiar name to tech veterans as the impresario once behind the now-defunct Comdex mega-tradeshow.

Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen slipped from his position at number 5 last year to number 11 this year, just missing the top 10. Allen is worth $US16.8 billion, according to Forbes. Current Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, worth $US15.2 billion, also fell from 15th last year to 16th this year. Other high-tech executives who made a strong showing on the list in 2007 are eBay's founder and chairman, Pierre Omidyar, who came in 32nd with a net worth of $US8.9 billion; founder, chairman, CEO and president, Jeff Bezos, who is worth $US8.7 billion and tied with another high-tech billionaire, SAS Institute's James Goodnight, for 35th; and Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, who came in 48th and is worth $US6.5 billion.

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