Revolutionary visionaries investing in technology companies and startups are rapidly securing their positions as the world’s most innovative and wealthy individuals. Haute Living takes a closer look at Silicon Valley’s diverse group of top tech titans, including Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison, the wealthiest of the group with an estimate net worth of $36 billion; Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page; startup innovator Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square; Yuri Milner, who recently purchased a 100-million- dollar estate in Silicon Valley; and Apple’s Tim Cook, who took the reigns of one of the worlds most ground-breaking tech companies following the passing of Steve Jobs in 2011.
Breyer, 50, was ranked ‘#1’ by Forbes in its Midas List of top technology investors, and is reportedly worth $1.1 billion.
With the right amount of foresight, resources and gusto for investing in ideas that turn into industry gamechangers, these Silicon Valley tech titans are truly in a league of their own.
The King of Silicon Valley
As the wealthiest tech titan of the group, Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison is ranked the third richest American citizen with a net worth of approximately $36 billion. Ellison, 67, began Oracle after observing that no company had yet commercialized the technology to create a working prototype for a relational database. He recently purchased 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai for reportedly more than $500 million and is known for having a penchant for extravagant, multimillion- dollar yachts.
The Leaders of Silicon Valley
Larry Page & Sergey Brin
After meeting in graduate school at Stanford in the mid-1990s, Larry Page and Sergey Brin co-founded Google in 1998. The tech duo continue to redefine the way people use the web and, despite being two of the world’s richest people, both Page, 39, and Brin, 38, still play an active role in the company. They are credited with making more millionaires than anyone in Silicon Valley following Google’s IPO in 2004.
Before becoming the CEO of Apple Inc. following the untimely death of his successor Steve Jobs in 2011, Tim Cook served as the Chief Operating Officer at the company for six years and was responsible for all of Apple’s worldwide sales and operations. As the current head of one of the world’s most prolific technology companies, Cook, 51, also serves as Director and Member of Nike, Inc.’s Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee and is a Member of the Compensation Committee for the sports brand.
The Future of Silicon Valley
Synonymous with social networking and Silicon Valley, social media site Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took his company public in May 2012. Despite the stock’s rocky debut on the Nasdaq, Zuckerberg, 28, made $15 billion and is currently under the careful watch of investors around the world who are hoping the young Harvard dropout can be as successful at leading a public entity as he was at developing one of the most popular social networking sites.
Co-founder of file-sharing computer service Napster and founding President of social networking site Facebook, Sean Parker, 32, is an American entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion. Also credited with cofounding Plaxo, Causes, and Airtime, Parker also serves as managing partner at the Founders Fund, a San Franciscobased venture capitalist fund founded by Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first investor and co-founder of PayPal.
Jack Dorsey is one of the cofounders and acting Executive Chairman of social media site Twitter, which was created based on his interest in a dispatch-like, Web-based, real-time status/short message communication service. Currently based in San Francisco, Dorsey, 35, is also the CEO of mobile payments company Square, a service that simplifies how people make and receive payments via iPhone, iPads and Android devices. Square, which uses a device the size of a postage stamp that plugs into your phone or iPad as a credit card reader, has already signed up more than a million merchants and expects to process more than $5 billion in transactions over the next 12 months.
Welcome to Silicon Valley
Thanks to the growing value of his social media holdings in companies such as Facebook, Zynga and Groupon, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner joined the billionaire’s list last year and is often referred to as one of the world’s most successful investors in social media and technology companies. Though his primary residence is in Moscow, where he lives with his wife and two daughters, Milner, 50, firmly established his presence in Silicon Valley after recently purchasing a 25,500-square-foot French-style chateau there for $100 million.
The Deal Makers of Silicon Valley
Partner at Accel, President of Accel Management Company and founder/CEO of Breyer Capital, a global diversified investment firm, Jim Breyer has the golden touch. Since arriving in Silicon Valley shortly after graduating from Harvard Business School in 1987, Breyer has invested in more than 30 consumer Internet, media and technology companies that have completed public offerings or successful mergers. Breyer, 50, was ranked ‘#1’ by Forbes in its Midas List of top technology investors, and is reportedly worth $1.1 billion. With an 11% stake, Accel Partners is Facebook’s second largest shareholder after Mark Zuckerberg; Breyer personally owns 1% and serves on the board of the notorious social networking site.
Ben Horowitz & Marc Andreessen
Venture capitalist Ben Horowitz is general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing venture-capital firms, along with Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen. Between 2005 and 2009, Horowitz, 46, and Andreessen, 41, made a series of 40 angel investments – some separately and some together – in early-stage technology companies, primarily in Silicon Valley. After creating their firm three years ago, which has invested in technology companies such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Groupon, the shrewd investors have raised $2.7 billion and continue to closely monitor mobile-app and cloud-computing startups.