To survive in the extremely competitive tech industry is an accomplishment in itself but these tech tycoons not only survived it, they thrive in it. With a combined net worth of over $1 trillion, these self-made tech billionaires continue to dominate the list of the richest people in the world.
But who are these tech moguls?
Well, a few of these names should be familiar if you’ve ever surfed the web. A number of them, however, are newcomers who are climbing up the ranks by capitalizing on the social media and mobile technology market.
Read on and get to know the tech tycoons who are the movers and shakers of today’s tech industry.
1. Bill Gates
Sitting at the top of the list at an estimated $84.5 billion net worth, Bill Gates continues to be the richest man in the tech industry. The Harvard University dropout made his billions when he founded the Microsoft software back in 1975 with Paul Allen. He currently co-chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife Melinda and serves as a board member for Microsoft.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $84.5 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $89.3 Billion
2. Jeff Bezos
In July 2017, Jeff Bezos managed to briefly knock Bill Gates off his place to become the richest man in the world. The CEO and Founder of Amazon, Bezos amassed his fortune when he first introduced and revolutionized the concept of e-commerce. When Amazon first started in 1994, he operated out of a garage at his Seattle home and was an online book retailer. Since then, the company has grown into an e-commerce behemoth, selling everything from fashion to consumer electronics and everything in between.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $81.7 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $94.8 Billion
3. Mark Zuckerberg
Another Harvard University dropout, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the youngest self-made tech billionaires on the list. When Zuckerberg founded Facebook back in 2004, he was only 19 years old(!). Originally developed for Harvard students to match names with faces from class, the company has since become a social media platform that has the largest user base in the world.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $69.6 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $74 Billion
4. Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison founded Oracle Corp, a programming firm, back in 1977 with two other colleagues. The company made the majority of its profit through projects with the CIA and developing software that helps with customer relationship management databases. Ellison gave up his position as CEO in 2014 but continues to serve as chairman of the board and chief technology officer for Oracle.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $59.3 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $60.1 Billion
5. Larry Page
It was 1998 when Stanford PhD student Larry Page teamed up with classmate Sergey Brin to develop BackRub, a prototype search engine for the internet. That project eventually morphed into Google, the most ubiquitous search engine of the modern era. He currently helms Alphabet, which oversees Google, and its related ventures such as Nest, Calico, and Google X.
Tech Industry Net Worth: $43.9 Billion
Real Time Net Worth: $48.6 Billion
6. Sergey Brin
Along with Larry Page, Sergey Brin made Google into the company that it is today. Brin was key in facilitating the massive restructuring of Google in 2015, placing the search engine firm under the holding company of Alphabet. Through Alphabet, he continues to explore new “moonshot” projects and ideas such as making automated homes and self-driving cars.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $42.7 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $47.3 Billion
7. Jack Ma
Founder of the biggest e-commerce company in China, Jack Ma currently holds the title of richest man in China with Alibaba Group. When Alibaba Group went public in New York in 2014, its initial public offering was a massive $25 billion(!) — the largest ever for an e-commerce company.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $37.4 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $40 Billion
8. Ma Huateng
Software engineer Ma Huateng (or Pony Ma) ventured into the tech industry when he founded Tencent Holdings, China’s largest internet portal, in 1998. Some of the successful ventures he made with Tencent Holdings include QQ, an instant-messaging service; Wechat, a mobile-texting service with over 900 million users; and Tencent Games, the largest online gaming community in China.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $36.7 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $43.3 Billion
9. Steve Ballmer
The “numbers guy” of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer joined the company in 1980 to become temployee number 30 and their first business manager. He went on to become the CEO of the company in 2000, replacing Bill Gates, to increase their revenue by 294% and profits by 181%. He stepped down as CEO in 2014 and is currently the owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $32.9 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $36.5 Billion
10. Michael Dell
Founder of the computer company with his namesake, Michael Dell owns plenty of his fortunes from Dell Technologies. The merger of Dell with computer storage giant EMC lead to the largest technology acquisition ever with an estimated worth of $60 billion. He continues to hold a 70% stake in the company and acts as chairman and CEO.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $22.4 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $23.5 Billion
11. Masayoshi Son
The richest man in Japan, Masayoshi Son founded and heads the mobile telecom and investment firm Softbank. Through Softbank, Son has amassed an impressive portfolio with investments of companies such as Sprint, Grab Taxi, Didi Chuxing, and even a stake in Yahoo Japan.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $22.4 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $23.6 Billion
12. Elon Musk
Elon Musk made his mark in the tech industry when he co-founded PayPal, which was later acquired by eBay for $1.4 billion in 2002. He went on to launch Tesla Motors, which focuses on producing mass-market fully-electric vehicles, and SpaceX, Musk’s rocket company that’s valued at over $20 billion.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $20.7 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $19.7 Billion
13. Paul Allen
Paul Allen help cofounded the software giant Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975. He left the company 8 years later when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. He eventually beat the disease and now spends his time managing professional sports franchises which include the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $20.5 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $20.7 Billion
14. Lee Kun-Hee
Samsung Electronic’s chairman Lee Kun-Hee made the list despite a few tumultuous years. Lee suffered a heart attack in 2014 and remains hospitalized at Seoul’s Samsung Medical Center while his son, Jay Y., was arrested, indicted, and jailed for bribery in 2017. Despite that, the electronic conglomerate holds the leadership position in the mobile marketplace with its smartphones.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $18.3 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $21.7 Billion
15. Azim Premji
Tech magnate Azim Premji heads Wipro, India’s third-largest outsourcer, which holds an estimated revenue of $9 billion. Originally a cooking oil company, Premji took over the family business in 1966 and expanded the company’s portfolio with software development. He currently serve as the chairman while his son helps oversee Wipro’s $100 million venture capital fund.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $18.2 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $19.2 Billion
16. William Ding
One of the largest online and mobile games businesses in the world, William Ding amassed his fortune through China’s huge gaming market. He was China’s richest man and first Internet and gaming billionaire back in 2003. His company continues to enjoy growth with a 67% increase in revenue in 2016 to a sum of $5.5 billion.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $16.1 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $18 Billion
17. Robin Li
Baidu is China’s biggest online search company and one of the world’s most popular websites. Li co-founded Baidu in China in 2000 after he left the search engine company Infoseek. Baidu is part of China’s BAT — Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent — the three companies that rank among the largest in the country.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $15.8 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $16.9 Billion
18. Shiv Nadar
Shiv Nadar pioneered the Indian IT industry when he found HCL in 1976. Nadar started by making calculators and microprocessors in his garage and later expanded into software services. HCL Technologies is currently India’s fourth-largest software services provider with an estimated revenue of $7.5 billion.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $13.5 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $13.4 Billion
19. Dustin Moskovitz
Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in 2004 with Dustin Moskovitz, his then-roommate, from their Harvard dorm. Moskovitz left the company in 2008 and later founded Asana, a workflow software company. Majority of his net worth comes from Facebook, which he still owns a 3% stake in
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $13.3 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $14.2 Billion
20. Hasso Plattner
Former IBM employee Hasso Plattner left in 1972 with four other colleagues to launch SAP (Software, Applications, Products), a German software company. SAP generates an annual revenue of over $20 billion dollars and is a market leader in the B2B space. Plattner stepped down as CEO in 2003 and continues to serve as chairman of the SAP supervisory board.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $12.6 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $13.3 Billion
21. Zhang Zhidong
Zhang Zhidong, also known as Tony Zhang, is one of the founders of Tencent Holdings, the largest gaming and social media conglomerate in China. Zhidong spent most of his time with Tencent, serving as chief technology officer for the company until he retired from the industry in 2014.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $12.5 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $15 Billion
22. Eric Schmidt
Eric Schmidt was formerly the CEO of Novell and chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems before joining Google. Schmidt was CEO from 2001 to 2011 and later transitioned as chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and acts as Google’s global ambassador.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $12.4 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $13.5 Billion
23. Terry Gou
Hon Hai Precision is the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, led by chairman and CEO Terry Gou. Gou’s company is better known by its trade name, Foxconn, whose customers include Apple. The company recently purchased Sharp, the Japanese electronics maker, and the mobile phone brand Nokia.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $10.2 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $9.6 Billion
24. Dietmar Hopp
Dietmar Hopp joined Hasso Plattner and former IBM colleagues in launching German software company SAP in 1972. Hopp served as co-CEO from 1988 to 1998 and then as chairman of the supervisory board until 2003. He later retired in 2005 and shifted his focus towards charity work with Dietmar Hopp Stiftung, which has distributed over $470 million for sports, medicine, education and social programs.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $10.2 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $10.6 Billion
25. Zhou Qunfei
The chairwoman of Lens Technology, a flat-glass screen supplier, Zhou Qunfei is one of the world’s richest self-made women. Zhou started her journey as an entrepreneur back in 1993 with a small watch company, operating out of her apartment in Shenzhen. Lens Technology clients include big-name tech companies such as Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.
- Tech Industry Net Worth: $10 Billion
- Real Time Net Worth: $12.2 Billion
The tech industry is a fast-changing landscape. With advances and breakthroughs happening at breakneck speed, it’ll be exciting to see who remains or get knocked off from the list of the most powerful tech moguls.
If the list of tech moguls have inspired you to build an e-commerce empire, why not start with our comprehensive guide to building a website or check out this handy comparison of the best website builders available.