Power Players: San Francisco’s Tech Leaders – Zuckerberg, Brin, Page, Hoffman and more

Mark Zuckerberg

Age: 27

Estimated Net Worth: More than $18 billion

The Moneymaker: Facebook

Background: Mark Zuckerberg, a New York native and founder of Facebook, had no idea what he was getting himself into when he constructed the social networking site in his Harvard University dorm room in 2004. The history of Facebook is well known these days – it began as a social networking site solely for Harvard students before rapidly spreading to all of the Ivy League schools, as well as other Boston-area universities. Over time, the site evolved to include high school students; and in 2006, anyone over the age of 13 could join. Facebook now boasts over 750 million active users worldwide. Zuckerberg has declined all offers to sell the site to major industry power players including Google, Viacom, Microsoft and Yahoo. Despite having dropped out of Harvard, Zuckerberg has since become the world’s youngest billionaire.

Notable Accomplishments: Currently, Zuckerberg sits on several Forbes lists, and his most recent rise in net worth makes him appear to be the third richest “Tech Titan” behind Bill Gates and Larry Ellison. In 2007 Zuckerberg won the Crunchie Award for “Best Startup CEO” and placed number one on Vanity Fair magazine’s 2010 list of the “Top 100 Most Influential People of the Information Age.”  In 2010, Time Magazine named him “Person of the Year” for “connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Current Position: CEO of Facebook.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Age: Larry, 38; Sergey, 37

Estimated Net worth: $17 billion each

The Moneymaker: Google

Background: Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the co-founders of the search engine giant Google. Page graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering before continuing on to receive his Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Stanford. Brin and his family immigrated to the United States from Russia when he was 6 years old. He went on to receive his Computer Science Degree from the University of Maryland followed by a master’s degree from Stanford University. The power duo met while earning their Ph.D.s at Stanford – but both left before earning the titles to pursue what is now online search engine powerhouse Google. Page resides in Palo Alto, California; Brin in San Francisco.

Notable Accomplishments: With Google controlling two – thirds of the Internet search market, Page and Brin continue to sit high atop the Forbes billionaires list. Both received honorary MBAs from IE Business School in 2003, the Marconi Foundation Prize in 2004 and were elected Fellows of the Marconi Foundation at Columbia University and Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, among many other industry nods. The pair has other interests apart from Google; Page’s interest in alternative energy has fueled the decision to purchase portions of land in hopes of erecting homes that run on new kinds of fuel cells and geothermal energy; while Brin has become a benefactor for Parkinson’s disease. Both men are investors in Tesla Motors.

Current Position: Page is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Google; Brin is a co-founder of Google.