10 Richest People in Technology

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Forbes issued its annual list of the world's billionaires, and much to no one's surprise tech was well represented.

Companies like Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL), Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB) and others make the list, with some of the most well-known executives in the tech industry topping the list. Given the run-up in the stock prices of many of these names, that shouldn't shock anyone. 

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The following is a list of the 10 richest people in technology, according to Forbes' annual billionaires list.

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Gates, 58, who co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen, topped the list of the world's richest billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $76 billion.

He had previously stepped away from much of his day-to-day duties at Microsoft, with his last full day nearly six years ago. Following the retirement of former CEO Steve Ballmer, and the ushering in of new CEO Satya Nadella, Gates also gave up his position as chairman. 

Instead, he will serve as Nadella's technology advisor, a new post created specifically for Gates.

Larry Ellison, Oracle

Ellison, 69, is still going strong as the CEO of software company Oracle. He's fifth on the overall Forbes billionaires list with an estimated net worth of $48 billion, coming in only behind Gates, Carlos Slim, Amancio Ortega and Warren Buffett.

Oracle has faced intense competition in recent years from cloud computing companies, including Salesforce.com (CRM), run by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff. As a result, Oracle and Ellison have had to play catch-up, acquiring companies left and right, the last being BlueKai, a cloud-based big data platform.

Oracle's last public acquisition was Acme Packet, which the company acquired in February 2013 for $2.1 billion.

Larry Page, Google

Page, 40, helped co-found Google with his partner Sergey Brin in a Stanford laboratory nearly 20 years ago. Since that time, he's amassed nearly $32.3 billion in net worth, according to Forbes' latest list, putting him No. 17 on the overall list.

Since that time in August of 1998, Page has gone on to help transform Google into more than just the world's leading search engine. The company has its arms in almost every area of technology, including mobile devices, Internet of Things, home automation, driverless cars, and health.

Even though Google is moving into other areas, its basic business is still search, which is incredibly profitable. For the fourth quarter, Mountain View, Calif.-based Google earned on a non-GAAP basis $12.01 share, generating $13.55 billion in revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs (TAC).

Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Bezos, 50, is seemingly hell-bent on dominating every facet of the consumer experience, as well as every area of retail. He's doing so, and profiting very handsomely, with an estimated net worth of $32 billion and coming in right behind Page at No. 18 on Forbes' overall list of the world's billionaires. 

Amazon, which started as a bookseller, now sells everything you could possibly want on its Web site, from clothes to books to electronics to fine wines, art, and digital content.

The Seattle-based Amazon earned a profit of 51 cents a share on $25.59 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter. That missed the expectations of analysts, who were expecting the company to earn 66 cents share on $26.06 billion. 

Ever the showman, Bezos recently went on 60 Minutes to talk about the company's new drone initiative, which Bezos hopes will one-day deliver the goods Amazon sells to customers, potentially cutting out its shipping partners, including UPS (UPS) and FedEX (FDX).

Sergey Brin, Google

Brin, 40, is the second Google executive on this list, behind Page, with an estimated net worth of $31.8 billion, right behind Bezos at No. 19 on the overall billionaire's list.

Though Page runs the Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, Brin is perhaps deserving of more of the credit for putting Google in the spotlight. Brin heads up the company's X Labs division, which has worked on such projects as Google Glass and driverless cars, among other projects.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, 29, is not only the youngest billionaire on this list, but he's also the only one in which a movie on the silver screen was made about the company he started (The Social Network).

The White Plains, N.Y.-born Zuckerberg has turned Facebook from being something college kids used to look at to kill time before their next class into a global advertising behemoth.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social network earned 31 cents a share on $2.59 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter, as advertising revenue jumped 76% year over year to $2.34 billion. Perhaps most impressive is the company's mobile initiatives, as it now makes more than half of its advertising revenue from selling ads on smartphones and tablets.

Facebook ended the quarter with 1.23 billion monthly active users (MAUs), and more than 945 million mobile MAUs.

Numbers like that have helped Zuckerberg take the No. 21 spot on the overall list, with an impressive $28.5 billion in estimated net worth. 

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft

Ballmer, 57, is the only one on this list that did not start or co-found the company to which he's associated with. Ballmer joined Microsoft as its 30th employee in June 1980, and went on to head several divisions, including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support, until he became CEO of the company in January 2000, officially replacing Gates.

Since then, Microsoft has underground a rocky relationship with the press, its shareholders and the tech world in general, which has seen Microsoft as something of a dinosaur which relies on its cash cows, Windows and Office, but coming up with little else to show for its efforts.

Ballmer stepped down as CEO earlier this year, being replaced by the aforementioned Nadella, but not before he amassed an estimated personal net worth of $19.3 billion, good enough for No. 36 on the overall list.

Michael Dell, Dell

Dell, 49, is founder, chairman and CEO of now private Dell, but he made much of his $17.5 billion estimated net worth (No. 48 on the list) in the public markets.

Dell revolutionized the computer industry, as he started Round Rock, Texas.-based Dell, selling computers directly to consumers, allowing them to configure them the way they wanted. By 2001, Dell had surpassed Compaq to become the world's largest PC maker, owning 12.8% of the market. Since then, Dell has made a number of gaffes, allowing companies such as Apple (AAPL) to capture the consumer's imagination, putting Dell in the background.

Dell returned to being a private company in late 2013, following struggles with activist investor Carl Icahn over the $25 billion leveraged buyout offer for Dell from its CEO as well as private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners.

Paul Allen, Microsoft

Allen, 61, co-founded Microsoft with Gates in 1980, helping the affluent Allen take the No. 56 spot on the overall list, with an estimated net worth of $15.9 billion.

Allen was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1982. However, following successful radiation therapy, he didn't return to Microsoft, ultimately giving up his spot on the company's board in November 2000.

Since then, Allen has become famous for Vulcan, the company which manages his personal fortune. He's also known as the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, as well as the Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawks, and the Major League Soccer Club, Seattle Sounders FC, which he co-owns.

Azim Premji, Wipro

Premji, 68, is best known for being the majority shareholder and chairman of Wipro Ltd., India's largest software company. That honor has helped him take the No. 61 spot on the overall list, with a personal estimated net worth of $15.3 billion. 

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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