Top 10 Richest People in AI 2021

By Tom Swallow
The top 10 richest people involved in artificial intelligence, including net worth and their activities in the past year...

There are significant discussions taking place about artificial intelligence in the technology industry this year. As big changes are happening to the way businesses work, accelerated by the demand from the COVID-19 pandemic, we take a look at some of the wealthiest people in AI and their current positions. 

10: Colin Zheng Huang - Former CEO of Pinduoduo...

Colin Huang (also known as Huang Zheng) has seen significant gains over the past year, in excess of US$49.4bn. He resigned as CEO of the online discounting company in July 2020 and has recently given up his voting rights as chairman of the board. His relief from this position will allow Huang to focus on his interest in food and life science. 


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09: Ma Huateng - Co-Founder and Chairman of Tencent...

Tencent, the company which Ma Huateng chairs, remains a high performer despite a steady fall in share prices since January 2021. The Chinese internet magnate currently holds his position on our list with a net worth of US$60.3bn, positioning Huateng at the top of the Chinese tech industry and making him the second richest person in the country.


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08: Entry 8: Steve Ballmer - Former CEO of Microsoft...

Steve Ballmer was the appointed CEO of Microsoft from the year 2000 to 2014. As his career started with Microsoft back in the 1980s, it is no wonder Ballmer has now worked up a healthy net worth of US$73.8bn. Since his departure from Microsoft and in light of the growing financial demands of COVID-19 in the past year, Ballmer has given US$54mn to associated relief projects. 


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07: Sergey Brin - Co-Founder of Google, former President of Alphabet...

Sergey Brin stepped down from his position of president at Alphabet (parent company of Google) in December 2019. Brin still remains a shareholder and board member. His wealth continues to grow as a result of the company's continued development and reportedly funding a high-tech airship project with the co-founder of Google Larry Page. His net worth reached heights of US$94.3bn in 2021. 


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06: Larry Page - Co-Founder of Google, former CEO of Alphabet...

Larry Page also stepped down from Alphabet(parent company of Google) in Unison with Sergey Brin. Page was succeeded as CEO by Erich Schmidt in 2001 but continues to work with Brin on projects outside of the company while remaining as a shareholder and member of the board. Similar to his partner, Page’s net worth has reached US$97.2bn. 


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05: Larry Ellison - Founder of Oracle...

With a net worth of over US$98.3bn, Larry Ellison founded Oracle in 1977 and gave up his role in 2014, after a 37-year stint as CEO. Oracle has seen massive growth through its acquisition of software companies like BEA Systems, PeopleSoft and NetSuite. In 2012 Ellison also acquired nearly all of the Hawaiian Island, Lanai, spending US$300mn. 


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04: Mark Zuckerberg - Founder and CEO of Facebook...

Facebook continues to thrive as demand for online interaction has increased during the past year. Zuckerberg has come under fire regarding various ethical issues, including potential antitrust violations and links to the Capitol Hill Riots. Despite adversity, Facebook is still one of the top global social media platforms and gains Zuckerberg a net worth of over US$114bn. 


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03: Bill Gates - Founder of Microsoft...

After spending some time further down the list of Forbes Billionaires since 2008, Bill Gates is now back near the top after crossing the US$100bn mark. As shares of Microsoft increase by 66%, Gates can also be grateful for the rise in share prices for tractor company Deere & Co (also known as ‘John Deere’). To date, Gates’ net worth has reached over US$129.3bn and has donated around US$35.5bn worth of Microsoft stock to the Gates Foundation.


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02: Elon Musk - CEO and Co-Founder of Tesla...

The electric car company, Tesla, surpassed its millionth electric car on the 10th March 2020. CEO and Co-Founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, is currently the biggest name in personal electric transport and is the largest shareholder and CEO of SpaceX (worth more than US$74bn). Musk has signed the ‘Giving Pledge’, which commits half of his fortune to charity.


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01: Jeff Bezos - Founder of Amazon...

Undoubtedly one of the biggest names in technology and artificial intelligence, Jeff Bezos, has recently announced his plan to step down as CEO of Amazon. This move will allow him to focus his attention on other projects, such as his charitable initiative Amazon Day 1 Fund and his space exploration company. Bezos’ Earth Fund gave away US$791m to 16 climate change non-profit organisations in 2020. 


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