The 20 Richest Tech Billionaires In The World: Forbes’ 2023 List

From Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, here are the techies who made Forbes’ 2023 list of the world’s biggest billionaires.

Nearly half of all billionaires are poorer than they were a year ago, according to Forbes Magazine’s 2023 World’s Billionaires List released this month.

Forbes attributes the decline in some billionaires’ net worth to falling stocks, wounded unicorns and rising interest rates that resulted in a down year for the world’s wealthiest people. Forbes counted 2,640 ten-figure fortunes in the latest ranking, down from 2,668 last year globally. Altogether, the planet’s billionaires are now worth $12.2 trillion, a drop of $500 billion from $12.7 trillion in March 2022, according to the publication.

Elon Musk, last year’s number one spot holder, fell into the second spot following his $43 billion takeover of Twitter, which help sink Tesla shares. Jeff Bezos, once the world’s richest person for four years in a row, took the third spot on the overall list but the top spot on the list of the world’s richest people in the technology space.

Meanwhile, non-techie Bernard Arnault, head of luxury goods giant LVMH, took the top spot as the world’s richest person, marking the first time a citizen of France has lead the ranking. However, Forbes found that the United States still boasts the most billionaires with 735 list members worth a collective $4.5 trillion.

Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people highlights the estimated net worth, as well as business successes and philanthropic efforts, of the world’s wealthiest. What follows is a list of the top 20 tech billionaires in 2023, according to Forbes.

20. Laurene Powell Jobs and family

Worth: $12 billion

Overall rank: #145

Powell Jobs inherited her fortune, mostly through shares of Walt Disney and Apple, from her late husband, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who died in 2011. Powell Jobs is the founder and president of the Emerson Collective, an impact investing, philanthropy and advocacy firm focused on environmental justice, health, immigration and education. In 2021 she launched the Waverley Street Foundation and committed to donate $3 billion over a decade to organizations addressing climate change through innovative solutions and environmental justice.

19. Jan Koum

Worth: $13.7 billion

Overall rank: #130

Koum cofounded WhatsApp, now the world’s biggest mobile messaging service, in 2009. Facebook bought the startup for $22 billion in cash and stock in 2014. He resigned as CEO of WhatsApp in April 2018 and announced he would leave Facebook’s board as well. Koum worked at Yahoo for nearly nine years before leaving to found WhatsApp.

18. Robert Pera

Worth: $15.5 billion

Overall rank: #113

Pera is the founder and CEO of wireless equipment maker Ubiquiti Networks, which had revenue of $1.7 billion in the fiscal year through August 2022. The company sells wireless broadband systems with a focus on emerging markets and he owns nearly 75 percent of the publicly traded firm. Pera started his career at Apple in 2003, and within 10 months of the job founded Ubiquiti. He left Apple to work at Ubiquiti full time in 2005.

17. Eric Schmidt

Worth: $16.2 billion

Overall rank: #104

Schmidt, Google’s CEO from 2001 to 2011, left the board of Google parent company Alphabet in June 2019 after 18 years, but stayed on as a technical advisor until February 2020. The executive earlier had stints as CEO of Novell and chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems. He also co-founded Innovation Endeavors, a venture capital firm that has invested in Uber, SoFi and Zymergen, among others.

16. Jensen Huang

Worth: $21.1 billion

Overall rank: #76

Huang co-founded graphics-chip maker Nvidia in 1993 and has served as the company’s CEO and president since its start. Huang owns 3.6 percent of Nvidia, which went public in 1999. Under Huang, Nvidia has become a dominant force in computer gaming chips and has expanded to design chips for data centers and autonomous cars.

15. Jack Ma

Worth: $23.5 billion

Overall rank: #63

Ma, a former English teacher, co-founded one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world, Alibaba Group. Ma stepped down as Alibaba’s executive chairman in 2019. After about a year overseas, Ma returned to China in March 2023 just as Alibaba unveiled a plan to split itself into six businesses.

14. MacKenzie Scott

Worth: $24.4 billion

Overall rank: #60

Scott, a published author of two novels, was married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for 25 years until 2019. As part of the divorce settlement, Bezos transferred 25 percent of his Amazon stake to MacKenzie, which represented 4 percent of the company. Scott signed the Giving Pledge in 2019, promising to give away at least half of her wealth over the course of her lifetime. In a website called Yield Giving, Scott shares details of her “no strings attached” style of giving and the $14.4 billion she has donated since 2020 to nearly 1,600 nonprofits.

13. Shiv Nadar

Worth: $25.6 billion

Overall rank: #55

Billionaire industrialist and Indian IT pioneer Nadar co-founded HCL in a garage in 1976 to make calculators and microprocessors. HCL Technologies today, valued at $11.8 billion in revenue, is among India’s largest software services providers. He stepped down as chairman of HCL Technologies and handed the position over to his daughter, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, in 2020. He’s now chairman emeritus and strategic advisor.

12. William Lei Ding

Worth: $26.7 billion

Overall rank: #53

William Ding is the CEO of NetEase, one of the world’s largest online and mobile games businesses. NetEase’s business partners include Mojang, a subsidiary of Microsoft, and Blizzard Entertainment. Ding was China’s richest man and its first internet and gaming billionaire back in 2003.

11. Colin Zheng Huang

Worth: $30.2 billion

Overall rank: #45

Colin Huang, who also goes by Huang Zheng, is the founder of PDD Holdings, the Chinese e-commerce company that changed its name from Pinduoduo in February 2023. He stepped down as chairman of the company in March 2021 and owns nearly 28 percent of PDD Holdings. PDD launched budget shopping site Temu in September 2022 to compete with Shein, led by fellow Chinese billionaire Chris Xu.

10. Ma Huateng

Worth: $35.3 billion

Overall rank: #34

Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, chairs Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings. Tencent’s popular social messaging app WeChat has 1.3 billion users. Tencent, which owns a stake in U.S. videogame company Epic Games, is one of the largest videogame publishers in the world.

9. Zhang Yiming

Worth: $45 billion

Overall rank: #26

Yiming is the main founder of Chinese tech giant ByteDance, best known for its wildly popular social media app TikTok, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide. He stepped down as chairman of ByteDance in November 2021 after resigning as CEO in May that year, reportedly under pressure from the Chinese government. He was a member of the 2013 Forbes China 30 Under 30 List.

8. Michael Dell

Worth: $50.1 billion

Overall rank: #23

Dell famously founded Dell, an early PC company, in 1984 in his dorm room at the University of Texas, Austin. Today he is the chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, formed in 2016 when Dell merged with data storage system giant EMC. Much of Dell’s fortune lies in his private investment firm MSD Capital, which has stakes in hotels and invests in liquid corporate credit. Dell donated $1 billion to his foundation in 2017 which focuses on child poverty.

7. Mark Zuckerberg

Worth: $64.4

Overall rank: #16

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg started the social media giant at Harvard in 2004 at the age of 19 for students to match names with photos of classmates. He took the company public in May 2012 and now owns about 13 percent of the company’s stock. In December 2015 Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to give away 99 percent of their Facebook stake over their lifetimes.

6. Sergey Brin

Worth: $76 billion

Overall rank: #14

Brin co-founded tech giant Google in 1998 with Larry Page. The executive stepped down as president of Alphabet, parent company of Google, in December 2019 but remains a controlling shareholder and a board member. Brin is reportedly funding a high-tech airship project.

5. Larry Page

Worth: $79.2 billion

Overall rank: #12

Google co-founder Page stepped down as CEO of Alphabet, the parent of Google, in December 2019 but remains a board member and a controlling shareholder. Page cofounded Google in 1998 with fellow Stanford Ph.D. student Sergey Brin and together the two invented Google’s PageRank algorithm, which powers the company’s ubiquitous search engine. Page is a founding investor in space exploration company Planetary Resources and is also funding flying car startups Kitty Hawk and Opener.

4. Steve Ballmer

Worth: $80.7 billion

Overall rank: #10

The CEO of tech giant Microsoft from 2000 to 2014, Ballmer joined the company as employee number 30 in 1980. The same year he retired from Microsoft he bought the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. A philanthropist, Ballmer has put more than $2 billion into a donor-advised fund, with a focus on economic mobility, since 2014. In 2022 he and his wife Connie donated some $425 million to the University of Oregon to create an institute aimed at the behavioral and mental health needs of children in the state.

3. Bill Gates

Worth: $104 billion

Overall rank: #6

The co-founder and long-time CEO of software giant Microsoft, Gates spent 18 years as the richest person in the world before being displaced in 2018. He turned his fortune from Microsoft into diversified holdings including investments in zero-carbon energy tech developers. Known for his philanthropic efforts, Gates to-date has donated more than $59 billion to the Gates Foundation, including a $20 billion gift announced in July 2022. Most of his early donations were gifts of Microsoft stock.

2. Larry Ellison

Worth: $107 billion

Overall rank: #4

Ellison is chairman, chief technology officer and co-founder of software giant Oracle, of which he owns about a 35 percent stake. Oracle has grown, in part, through a steady acquisition of software companies, including the biggest tech industry deal of 2021, the $28.3 billion acquisition of electronic health records company Cerner. Ellison gave up the Oracle CEO role in 2014 after 37 years at the helm.

1. Jeff Bezos

Worth: $114 billion

Overall rank: #3

Bezos, who founded e-commerce giant Amazon in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle, dropped from the overall number one spot on the Forbes list in 2021 and number two spot in 2022 to third place this year. Bezos stepped down as Amazon’s CEO and become executive chairman in late 2021. He now owns just under 10 percent of the company. Bezos said in a 2022 interview that he plans to give away the majority of his wealth in his lifetime, without disclosing specific details.