Silicon Valley is the hub of technological innovation, the internet, and social media. Some of the biggest companies in the world are headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, including 39 businesses ranked in the Fortune 1000 list. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a start-up tech company, whether it’s in a high-cost rented office or a San Francisco apartment.
It’s here that many billionaires have made their fortunes, and continue to live in work in the valley that’s served them so well. Here’s the net worth of Silicon Valley’s richest billionaires and how they make and spend their fortunes.
These playmakers have made their mark on the area in a big way. See how George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch is shaking things up.
Scott Cook – Net Worth $3.95 Billion
Co-founder of Intuit, Scott Cook is a pioneer of Silicon Valley. He started the finance software company in Palo Alto in 1983 and acted as the CEO and president of Intuit for 11 years. Afterward, he held his position as chairman with 5% of the company’s shares. His net worth now amounts to $3.95 billion.
Cook and his wife still live in the Bay Area after retiring in 1994 and together founded a program for Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. Their son is equestrian Karl Cook, who married actress Kaley Cuoco in 2018.
Dagmar Dolby – Net Worth $4.13 Billion
Dolby Laboratories was founded in London and headquartered in San Francisco since 1976. The sound technologies company was started by Ray Dolby, a sound engineer who moved to the Bay Area to attend San Jose State College and Stanford University. His company revolutionized sound for recording music and film theaters.
Dolby passed away in 2013 after battling leukemia. Dolby met his wife Dagmar at Cambridge University in 1962 while she was there for a summer program as a German student. His widow, still living in San Francisco, has a net worth of $4.13 billion.
Jensen Huang – Net Worth $4.63 Billion
Born in Taiwan, Jensen Huang earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering at Stanford University in 1992 and founded computer gaming chips company Nvidia the following year in nearby Santa Clara. As the gaming industry continued to grow, so did Huang’s company and net worth.
As CEO of Nvidia, Huang raked in $24.6 million in 2007 alone and bought a mansion in Los Altos Hills. As of 2019, his net worth is estimated at $4.63 billion. A respected philanthropist, he has donated $30 million to build an engineering center at his alma mater, Stanford University.
Jeffrey Skoll – Net Worth $5.24 Billion
Former president of eBay, Jeffrey Skoll earned his wealth in the early 2000s and after leaving, made wise investments to grow his fortune. As of 2019, his net worth is an estimated $5.24 billion. Born in Canada, he moved to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University.
Skoll bought a $20 million home in Palo Alto with his wife Stephanie that’s the house you dreamed of owning as a kid when you became a billionaire. They don’t have any kids of their own but have both an indoor and an outdoor pool, a climbing wall, and a giant pizza oven in their 14,855-square-foot mansion.
David Filo – Net Worth $5.29 Billion
Co-founder of Yahoo!, David Filo is sitting pretty with a net worth of $5.29 billion. After selling the company to Verizon, Filo lives in Palo Alto with his wife Angela Buenning, who is a teacher and a photographer.
Knowing he’s set for life with his wealth, Filo is now on a “one-dollar salary” so he can still legally work as an executive with Yahoo! without collecting a hefty salary. Like many others on this list, Filo ended up in the Bay Area to attend Stanford. He lives a quiet life and is an active philanthropist.
Jack Dorsey – Net Worth $5.29 Billion
Jack Dorsey is the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, with a net worth of $5.29 billion. Unlike many of the other billionaires on this list, Dorsey was on the east coast attending New York University when he developed Twitter.
Every day Dorsey walks five miles to work from his San Francisco home that boasts panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate bridge. He also enjoys meditation. He told Y Combinator, “A healthier lifestyle ultimately makes me more creative and allows me to think more cohesively.”
George Lucas – Net Worth $5.61 Billion
Filmmaker George Lucas is one of the Bay Area billionaires who didn’t make their fortune in internet technology. He’s also one of the few iconic filmmakers who choose not to live in Los Angeles, sticking to his Bay Area roots where he was born and raised.
Now worth an estimated $5.61 billion, Lucas lives on Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, north of the Golden Gate bridge. The county has a reputation for extremely steep housing costs, so Lucas decided to sell some of his land to be turned into affordable housing. “We’ve got enough millionaires here,” he said. “What we need is some houses for regular working people.”
The next billionaire is building a ‘mega city’ in the desert.
Travis Kalanick – Net Worth $5.84 Billion
Billionaire Travis Kalanick amassed his fortune after founding the ride-sharing app and service Uber. Amid controversy, he stepped down after serving as CEO for seven years, however he’s still on the board of directors and owns seven percent of Uber shares.
He calls his San Francisco townhouse “the Jam Pad” and started a Twitter account for it. Kalanick seems to hold an interest in real estate, as he’s also on the advisory board for a plans to build a “mega city” in the desert in Saudi Arabia.
Marc Benioff – Net Worth $6.58 Billion
Founder of Salesforce, Marc Benioff has a strong net worth of $6.58 billion. He started the company in 1999 out of an apartment he was renting in San Francisco, where he was also born and raised.
He’s still the CEO of Salesforce today, as well as an investor in Silicon Valley start-ups. Benioff has always been on track to be a successful businessman. Before starting Salesforce he worked for Oracle where he was promoted to president at 26-years-old.
John Doerr – Net Worth $7.67 Billion
Born in Missouri, billionaire John Doerr graduated from Harvard Business School and began working for Intel Corporation. There, he proved himself as he worked his way up to become the top salesman in the company.
Afterward, he joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers where he made his billions directing venture capital funding for the most successful tech companies in the world. With a net worth of $7.67 billion, he’s ranked as the 303rd richest person in the world.
Charles Schwab – Net Worth $8.29 Billion
Another Stanford alumni, Charles Schwab made his fortune founding one of the largest brokerage firms in the United States. Headquartered in San Francisco, Schwab started his business in the 1970s and has maintained his wealth ever since.
Now with an estimated net worth of $8.29 billion, he’s stepped down from his lead role and spends his time golfing and giving back through philanthropy. He serves as chairman to The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation while his wife acts as president.
Robert Pera – Net Worth $8.90 Billion
Robert Pera started making his billions at a young age. At 36-years-old, he was named one of the 10 youngest billionaires in the world by Forbes. He started his career at Apple but felt that his ideas weren’t being considered. So he started his own company building low-cost, high-performance Wi-Fi modules out of his apartment in his spare time.
Without any help from venture capitalists, Pera founded Ubiquiti Networks in 2005 that became hugely successful. In 2012 he bought the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team.
Jan Koum – Net Worth $9.80 Billion
Billionaire Jan Koum was born in Ukraine and moved to Mountain View with his mother where they struggled to get by. While in high school, he became interested in programming, dabbled in some hacking, and found himself rubbing elbows with the founders of Napster.
Koum dropped out of high school, broke into the tech industry and started his career at Yahoo before founding WhatsApp mobile messaging app. He once applied to work at Facebook, but was rejected. Ironically in 2014, Facebook bought his company for $19.3 billion.
Gordon Moore – Net Worth $10.84 Billion
Gordon Moore is a Bay Area man through and through. He was born in San Francisco and attended San Jose State University and University of California Berkeley. He co-founded the Intel Corporation in 1968 and served as chairman and CEO.
Now 90-years-old, Moore is still actively working as chairman of Intel. When he’s out of the office he’s traveling the world fishing, seeking out the most desired fish in the world. His main residence is in the Bay Area. He also owns a home on the Big Island of Hawai’i.
If he really wanted to fish, maybe he should build his own lake as Larry Ellison did.
Dustin Moskovitz – Net Worth $11.82 Billion
Dustin Moskovitz is one of the lesser-known co-founders of Facebook, often overshadowed by Mark Zuckerberg. He attended Harvard University, where he roomed with Zuckerberg. Together they took a year off from college and moved to Palo Alto to found Facebook and hire staff.
Moskovitz left the company in 2008 and co-founded Asana software company, where he acts as CEO. At just 34-years-old, Moskovitz is one of the wealthiest billionaires in Silicon Valley with an estimated net worth of $11.82 billion.
Eric Schmidt – Net Worth $13.69 Billion
Alphabet is Google’s parent company, and Eric Schmidt sits at the helm. The executive chairman has a massive net worth of $13.69 billion and first started working for Google in 2001. Schmidt lives in the extremely wealthy community of Atherton, which has been ranked as having the highest per capita income in the country, for a town of its size.
He’s an avid art collector and makes the occasional cameo on TV in film. Most recently, Schmidt made an appearance in Dumb and Dumber To and HBO’s Silicon Valley.
Laurene Powell Jobs – Net Worth $20.08 Billion
Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the late Steve Jobs, is no doubt treated like the queen of Silicon Valley. She’s also one of the wealthiest residents of Silicon Valley (and the world) with a net worth of $20.08 billion.
Powell Jobs is the fifth-richest woman in the world and enjoys spending her fortune on real estate. In 2018, she bought a $16.5 million home in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco with an incredible view of the city’s skyline.
The next billionaire bought five properties in Bel Air.
Elon Musk – Net Worth $20.87 Billion
Elon Musk is a man who puts his money where his mouth is. It’s a good thing that he has a fortune of $20.87 billion, because he has a reputation for not sitting quietly. Musk made his billions founding Tesla Motors in 2003. He’s grown the Palo Alto based automotive company into a billion-dollar corporation and branched into the aerospace industry with SpaceX.
While his empire is established in Silicon Valley, Musk splits his time between the Bay Area and the elite Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air, where he owns not one home, but five. He purchased his fifth mansion in Bel Air for $24.24 million and reportedly paid $48 on the other four.
Sergey Brin – Net Worth $53.68 Billion
Billionaire Sergey Brin is another alumni of Stanford University. Along with Larry Page, Brin co-founded Google in 1998. The most famous of the Silicon Valley giants, Google helped Brin amass his incredible $53.68 billion fortune. He currently serves as president to its parent company, Alphabet.
He may have had a messy affair with Google Glass’ marketing director, but he and his ex-wife Anne Wojcicki remain civil enough that they manage The Brin Wojcicki Foundation together. Brin is currently the 13th-richest person in the world.
Up next, his co-founder.
Larry Page – Net Worth $54.87 Billion
Larry Page is the co-founder of Google, inventor of PageRank, and an investor in Tesla Motors. His net worth sits above Brin’s at $54.87 billion, making him the 8th-richest person in the world.
Not only does Page live in Palo Alto, but he’s redesigning his neighborhood to his liking. He’s been tearing down homes adjacent to his 9,000 square foot Spanish colonial home and rebuilding them to be eco-friendly. On the flip-side, he purchase a superyacht that features ten luxury suites, a staff of 14 people and a helipad.
Larry Ellison – Net Worth $65.22 Billion
Co-founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison is a mover and shaker of Silicon Valley. He served as Oracle’s CEO until 2014 and still acts as an executive chairman. Ellison is the seventh-wealthiest person in the world and is also a director of Tesla.
It makes sense that he and Elon Musk get along. Ellison is a licensed pilot and owns two military jets himself. He’s extremely passionate about aviation and yachts. Ellison lives in nearby Woodside in a home that exceeds $110 million, complete with a man-made customized lake. He also owns 12 properties in Malibu, worth more than $180 million.
Mark Zuckerberg – Net Worth $66.31 Billion
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg tops the list of the richest people in Silicon Valley. Although his earnings are through the roof, Zuckerberg doesn’t make a show of it. Now a father of two, Zuckerberg lives in Palo Alto with his family and often makes generous donations to charities.
He’s known for wearing a simple t-shirt, jeans and hoodie every day, and drives economy cars like the rest of us. He bought two large properties on the island of Kaua’i that raised some eyebrows, but says that he and his wife Priscilla Chan are “dedicated to preserving its natural beauty.”