Top 100 tech billionaires see their fortunes grow

Bill Gates tops the list of richest tech billionaires, which includes just five women

Microsoft founder Bill Gates remains the richest man in tech with a personal fortune amounting to $78 billion (€69.74 billion), while Hong Kong-based Zhou Qunfei is the richest woman with an estimated net worth of $6.4 billion.

Ms Qunfei, the majority owner of Lens Technology, one of the world's largest manufacturers of screens for mobile phones and tablets, is one of just five women to feature on the Forbes top 100 tech billionaires list.

Mr Gates tops the rankings, followed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with a personal fortune of $66.2 billion. Others in the top five include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with an estimated net worth of $54 billion, Oracle chairman Larry Ellison with $51.7 billion, and Google co-founder Larry Page with $39 billion.

Mr Page's business partner Sergey Brin, ex-Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Tencent president and chief executive Ma Huateng and Dell Computers founder Michael Dell round out the top 10 tech billionaires.


Mr Bezos and Mr Zuckerberg made the biggest gains in this year’s list.

The top 100 richest tech billionaires are worth a combined $892 billion, a rise of 6 per cent more than last year. The minimum net worth is now $2.2 billion, up from $2 billion a year ago.

Fifty-three of the top 100 added to their fortunes over the last year, while 27 got poorer. Twelve newcomers joined the ranks, and the top five billionaires collectively added $36.9 billion to their fortunes over the past year, accounting for two-thirds of all gains.

Nine of the 100 richest people in technology can trace some or all of their fortunes back to Facebook

California is home to more than one third of world's richest tech billionaires, with a third also hailing from Asia. Of the five women included in the list, two are American, two are based in Hong Kong, and one comes from Britain.

Denise Coates, founder of online gambling firm Bet365 is the second richest tech billionire with an estimated fortune of $.38 billion. Other women on the list include Lam Wai Ying, chairwoman of Biel Crystal Manufacturing, Judy Faukner, founder of healthcare software firm Epic Systems, and HP chief executive Meg Whitman.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist