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Zuckerberg passes Jobs in latest Forbes list

by Sarah Griffiths on 23 September 2010, 11:44

Tags: General Business

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Mark Zuckerberg is now worth more than Apple's Steve Jobs just five years after starting Facebook.

Zuckerberg, who is just 26, added a staggering $4.9bn to his wealth in one year to become the America's number 35 richest person with $6.9bn to spend, according to the Forbes 400 list.

It is thought his fortune rocketed as private equity investments in the social networking giant valued Facebook at around $23bn, three times its worth in 2009.

The site has over 500m members with a revenue of about $2bn - a pretty good achievement for a Harvard dropout, America's second youngest self-made billionaire and soon-to-be film star (kind of).

Meanwhile, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple isn't doing too badly himself, with a net worth of $6.1bn, ($1bn more than last year,) to place him number 42 in the rich list.

Interestingly, despite founding Apple and celebrating huge successes with the iPad and iPhone, most of Jobs' money comes from his stake in Disney. Forbes believes he snapped up 138m shares in the film maker after he sold animation firm Pixar to them in 2006. The shares were valued at $4.4bn, while his 5.5m Apple shares are said to be worth about $1.3bn.

Placed pretty close to each other on the rich list, it might be interesting to watch these two heavyweights going forward as Facebook and Apple are both reportedly looking to tread on each other's toes- Apple with its Ping network and Facebook with its fabled phone.

As for the rest, Bill Gates still tops the list (for the 17th consecutive year) with his $54bn fortune. He is also thought to be the most generous, giving away about $28bn, mostly through his charitable foundation. According to Forbes, Gate's now has a $16bn stake in Microsoft, whose stock has been pretty flat over the year, despite the launch of Windows 7.

The new operating system, which is apparently selling at 7 copies per second, has also contributed to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's £13.1bn pot, ranking him the 16th richest man in America. Since Ballmer took over in January 2000 Microsoft's market cap has reduced by half, but its search engine, Bing is gaining popularity and now reportedly has a 13% share of the search market.

Number 17 on Forbes' list is a former Microsoft man, Paul Allen, the software giant's co-founder who now invests in space and AI ventures, is worth an estimated $12.7bn and has recently reportedly set about suing half of Silicon Valley, including the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook.