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

Michael and Xochi Birch

Age: Michael, 41; Xochi, 39

Estimated Net Worth: The pair netted about $600 million from the sale of Bebo.

The Moneymaker: Bebo

Background: This husband and wife pair has always had a strong interest in entrepreneurialism. With Michael’s brother Paul, the couple founded BirthdayAlarm.com to remind people of upcoming birthdays. They also co-founded Ringo.com, an early social networking site, which after only three months became the second largest in the world at that time. Friendster with 400,000 members was first. Ringo was sold to tickle.com in 2003. But it was in 2005 when the couple launched Bebo, a social networking site, that the couple really hit it big. One year later, Bebo was the sixth most popular site in the UK, with more daily views than AOL, Amazon and bbc.co.uk. The couple met at Imperial College London.

In 2008, Michael and Xochi Birch sold Bebo to AOL for $850 million—a savvy and timely business move, as the company sold to Criterion Capital Partners for less than $10 million just two years later. Michael and Xochi Birch’s combined 70 percent stake yielded a profit of $595 million from the initial deal. With the money that they earned from the sale of Bebo, they founded TheMonkeyInferno.com, a sort of ‘incubator’ for fledgling online project ideas. They’ve also launched a political network called Jolitics, a website designed to encourage open constructive political debate and Zuno.com, a greeting card site that plugs into Facebook and runs as both an iPhone app and website. The couple are currently working on a new project, WaterForward.com, a website developed as a way to support the couple’s favorite non-profit, charity: water.

Chad Hurley

Age: 34

Estimated Net worth: Around $300 million

The Moneymaker: YouTube

 Hurley was the first user-interface designer at PayPal, where he designed the original PayPal logo.  

Background: YouTube co-creator Chad Hurley has quite the resume for someone of his age. The Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate started his career at the then fledging company PayPal. The entrepreneur used his PayPal background as a platform to start the website that changed the way the world looks at the relationship between the Internet and videos. Hurley, along with Steven Chen, launched YouTube, the world’s primary video sharing platform, in February 2005 and quickly sold the Internet sensation less than two years later to Google for an unprecedented $1.65 billion. Hurley continued to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of YouTube until November 1 of last year. Today Hurley and Chen are working with their newest venture, AVOS, which recently acquired leading bookmarking service Delicious.com.

Notable Accomplishments: Hurley was the first user-interface designer at PayPal, where he designed the original PayPal logo. He also serves as an advisor for Google Ventures.

Current Position: Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AVOS Systems, Inc.

Jack Dorsey

Age: 34

Estimated Net worth: More than $200 million

The Moneymaker: Twitter

Background: Missouri native Jack Dorsey was fascinated by technology from a young age. While most 14-year old boys are preoccupied playing sports, Dorsey was already hard at work designing dispatch routing software. In 1999 he dropped out of New York University and quit his programming job at a taxi and courier dispatch service to move to California, the land of technological opportunity. By 2000, the intelligent go-getter started his own company that dispatched couriers, taxis and emergency services via the Internet. But this was only the beginning. The idea for Twitter began to form while Dorsey was looking for a way to keep in contact with his friends without having to sit idly by a computer. Dorsey went to Odeo, where he met one of Twitter’s other co-creators, Biz Stone. Dorsey pitched the concept and within a few weeks, a working prototype of the website that today has users all a-Twitter, was born.

Notable Accomplishments: Since the establishment of Twitter, Dorsey has started Square, a system created in 2009 to reinvent the way people perform everyday payment transactions. In addition, taxi companies continue to use the software he designed for them in the ‘90s.

Current Position: Executive Chairman of Twitter; CEO and co-founder of Square.