The Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans has been remarkably consistent: Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates came out on top for the 20th consecutive year when the annual list was released Monday, and the top three of Gates, Warren Buffett and Oracle (ORCL) founder and CEO Larry Ellison -- whose fortune was unchanged at $41 billion -- was the same.
Mark Zuckerberg was again an exception, as the Facebook cofounder and CEO saw his fortune swing wildly along with the valuation of his Menlo Park social network for the third consecutive year. After experiencing the strongest gains on the list in 2011 and the biggest losses in 2012, Zuckerberg's fortune doubled in time for the 2013 list, from $9.6 billion to $19 billion, putting him back in the top 20 at No. 20. He had the second-largest gain in terms of cash on the 2013 list, behind Buffett, whose personal fortune gained $12.5 billion to $58.5 billion; Gates' $72 billion led the list and makes him the richest person in the world.
Zuckerberg's 100 percent rise results from the improving fortunes of Facebook, which went public in 2012 at a record-breaking valuation of more than $100 billion, but quickly fell as investors doubted the company's ability to monetize its 1 billion-plus user base. After showing strong gains in mobile revenue in 2013, however, Facebook's stock price has risen to new highs well above its initial public offering price.
Zuckerberg's percentage gain was not the largest on the list, though, as he was topped by two other Silicon Valley luminaries. David Duffield, who founded and runs Pleasanton cloud software company Workday along with Aneel Bhusri, more than tripled his wealth to $6.4 billion with his company's successful IPO, placing him at No. 65.
Close on Duffield's heels was Elon Musk, CEO of Palo Alto electric-car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA) and SpaceX as well as chairman of San Mateo solar installer SolarCity, which went public in late 2012 and has experienced strong gains on the public markets. Musk's main Silicon Valley gambit, Tesla, also shot up in valuation, after showing its first profit and paying back a government loan earlier than expected in 2013, pushing his personal wealth from $2.4 billion to $6.7 billion and his ranking on the Forbes 400 from No. 190 to No. 61.
Ellison and Zuckerberg represent half of Silicon Valley's delegation in the top 20 richest Americans: Google (GOOG) cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin placed No. 13 and No. 14 with fortunes of $24.9 billion and $24.4 billion, respectively. Previously the two founders of the Mountain View search giant had the same war chest, tying for 15th in 2011 with $16.7 billion apiece and for 13th in 2012 with $20.3 billion.
Other Silicon Valley figures in the top 50 were Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of deceased Apple (AAPL) cofounder Steve Jobs, at No. 35 with $11.7 billion; and Google chairman Eric Schmidt, at No. 49 with $8.3 billion.
New additions to the list from Silicon Valley in 2013 included Robert Pera, founder of San Jose hardware company Ubiquiti Networks, who placed at No. 293 with $1.95 billion; part of Pera's fortune has been invested in the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies, which Pera now controls as principal owner and chairman. Nicholas Woodman, founder and CEO of San Mateo mobile-camera company GoPro, also debuted on the list, at No. 386 with $1.3 billion.
$1.3 billion was the cutoff for the Forbes 400 in 2013, the highest total needed to place on the list since before the Great Recession struck in 2008. The combined wealth of the 400 Americans on the list and their average wealth set records, at $2 trillion and $5 billion, respectively, Forbes reported.
Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/jowens510.
Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison was Silicon Valley's only billionaire to place in the top 10 of the annual Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans for 2013.
Below is a list of Bay Area residents that were included on the list, along with their overall ranking, wealth as calculated by Forbes and the main source of their fortune.
3. Larry Ellison, $41 billion, Oracle
13. Larry Page, $24.9 billion, Google
14. Sergey Brin, $24.4 billion, Google
20. Mark Zuckerberg, $19 billion, Facebook
35. Laurene Powell Jobs and family, $11.7 billion, Apple
49. Eric Schmidt, $8.3 billion, Google
61. Elon Musk, $6.7 billion, Tesla Motors
65. David Duffield, $6.4 billion, PeopleSoft and Workday
74. Charles Johnson, $5.6 billion, Franklin Resources
77. Rupert Johnson, $5.5 billion, Franklin Resources
85. Dustin Moskovitz, $5.2 billion, Facebook
88. Charles Schwab, $5.1 billion, Charles Schwab brokerage
98. Gordon Moore, $4.6 billion, Intel
103. Reid Hoffman, $4.4 billion, LinkedIn
103. George Roberts, $4.4 billion, Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts
109. George Lucas, $4.2 billion, LucasFilm
110. John Sobrato and family, $4.1 billion, Sobrato Development
143. Riley Bechtel, $3.4 billion, Bechtel
143. Stephen Bechtel Jr., $3.4 billion, Bechtel
151. Doris Fisher, $3.3 billion, Gap
184. John Doerr, $2.9 billion, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
193. John Fisher, $2.8 billion, Gap
209. Marc Benioff, $2.6 billion, Salesforce
235. Dagmar Dolby and family, $2.4 billion, Dolby Laboratories
243. Ken Fisher, $2.3 billion, Fisher Investments
252. David Filo, $2.2 billion, Yahoo
252. Michael Moritz, $2.2 billion, Sequoia Capital
260. James Coulter, $2.1 billion, TPG
260. Richard Peery, $2.1 billion, Peery Arrillaga
260. Romesh Wadhwani, $2.1 billion, Symphony Technologies Group
273. Robert Fisher, $2 billion, Gap
273. William Fisher, $2 billion, Gap
273. Gordon Getty, $2 billion, Getty Oil
273. John Pritzker, $2 billion, Hyatt Hotel
293. Robert Pera, $1.95 billion, Ubiquiti Networks
293. Daniel Pritzker, $1.95 billion, Hyatt Hotel
296. Thomas Siebel, $1.9 billion, Siebel Systems
296. Meg Whitman, $1.9 billion, eBay and Hewlett-Packard
314. John Arrillaga, $1.8 billion, Peery Arrillaga
314. Peter Thiel, $1.8 billion, venture capital
325. Kavitark Shriram, $1.75 billion, venture capital
327. Jerry Yang, $1.7 billion, Yahoo
342. Robert Duggan, $1.6 billion, Pharmacyclics
350. Scott Cook, $1.55 billion, Intuit
352. Jim Breyer, $1.5 billion, venture capital
352. Vinod Khosla, $1.5 billion, Khosla Ventures
352. Thomas Steyer, $1.5 billion, Farallon Capital Management
382. Mark Stevens, $1.35 billion, Sequoia Capital
386. Jack Dorsey, $1.3 billion, Twitter and Square
386. Nicholas Woodman, $1.3 billion, GoPro
The top 10 people on this year's Forbes 400 list are:
1. Bill Gates, $72 billion
2. Warren Buffett, $58.5 billion
3. Larry Ellison, $41 billion
4. Charles Koch, $36 billion
5. David Koch, $36 billion
6. Christy Walton & family, $35.4 billion
7. Jim Walton, $33.8 billion
8. Alice Walton, $33.5 billion
9. S. Robson Walton, $33.3 billion
10. Michael Bloomberg, $31 billion
Follow the money
Rich get richer: Forbes on Monday released its annual list of the top 400 richest Americans. Most of the top rankings didn't change, but the fortunes of the majority of the elite club's members grew, helped by strong stock and real estate markets.
Highest total ever: The people on the annual list posted a combined net worth of $2 trillion, up from $1.7 trillion a year ago. That marks their highest combined value ever.
Still no. 1: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates remains America's richest man, taking the top spot on the list for the 20th straight year with a net worth of $72 billion, up from $66 billion a year ago.
Source: Associated Press