Tech Titans: Mark Zuckerberg, John Morgridge, Charles Schwab, Tom Perkins and more

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Eric Schmidt
Company: Google
Home: Atherton
Schmidt was brought on board at Google in 2001, and he took the company public in 2004. The Google tri-chief oversees an agenda that continues to wield influence in the tech industry and rake in the dough. It’s moved into new markets (and into more direct competition with Microsoft) with the launch of a mobile phone operating system and an open source web browser. Schmidt’s also been busy integrating recent acquisitions into Google, like YouTube, Postini (security), and DoubleClick (online ads).

Larry Ellison
Company: Oracle
Home: Redwood City
As a young man, while working as a programmer at Ampex, Ellison helped build the first IBM-compatible mainframe system. In 1977, Ellison and two of his Ampex colleagues founded their own company, Software Development Labs. They won a two-year contract to build a relational database management system for the CIA, and they dubbed it Oracle. Upon its success, they began developing the system’s commercial usages and launched a company to sell the application. In 1980, Ellison’s revenues were less than $1 million, but the following year, IBM adopted Oracle for its mainframe systems, and Oracle’s sales doubled every year for the next seven. Today, Ellison is one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. He also has a habit of buying up his professional competitors, with more than 40 acquisitions in the past four years.

Ray Dolby
Company: Dolby Laboratories
Home: San Francisco
While still in high school, Dolby went to work for Ampex Corporation, where he ultimately became responsible for developing the electronics for the first Ampex professional videotape recorder, the precursor of every professional and consumer videotape system today. In 1965, he founded Dolby Laboratories with the initial goal of developing electronic systems for reducing the background noise, such as hiss, introduced by the tape recording process. With the success of those systems and many analog and digital innovations since, the Dolby name has come to be associated worldwide with quality audio from film soundtracks, home theater systems, audio- and videocassettes, DVD, TV audio, and cable and satellite transmissions. He has received countless honors in the field of technology, including the U.S. National Medal of Technology.

Thomas Siebel
Company: Siebel Systems
Home: Woodside
The self-made tech billionaire got his start in the industry as a salesman for Larry Ellison’s Oracle. But when Ellison opted against Siebel’s sales-tracking software, Siebel launched his own company. Siebel Systems became a global leader in application software with more than 8,000 employees in 32 countries, more than 4,500 corporate customers, and annual revenue in excess of $2 billion. The company went public in 1996 and eventually was sold to Oracle in 2005 for the astounding price of $5.9 billion, securing Siebel a personal $500 million.

John Chambers
Company: Cisco Systems
Home: San Jose
One of Chambers’ great assets is that he sees market transitions early and quickly sets the ball in motion. He successfully transitioned Cisco from a disastrous 2001, when it went from being the most highly valued company in the world to a cautionary tale of the excess of bubbles. So he had Cisco prepared for what’s going on now, as the firm has a $26 billion cushion of available cash, two-dozen promising products in the pipeline (each of them targeting a minimum 40 percent market share), and an unprecedented forward-looking strategy to unleash what it’s dubbing a “human network effect” both on and off the Cisco campus.

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