The 12 richest people in California and how they made their fortune

According to Forbes, there are 748 billionaires in America in 2022. With 186 members of the three-comma club, the Golden State has the highest number of billionaire residents. Eight states including Delaware, Alabama, and New Hampshire do not have any billionaires. Texas is where Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest person calls home while Jeff Bezos lives in Washington. So, who are the 12 richest people in California?

1. Larry Page

Net worth$111 billion
Source of wealthGoogle
ResidencePalo Alto, California

Larry Page is the wealthiest California resident after unseating Mark Zuckerberg this year. He’s best known for founding Google alongside Sergey Brin in September 1998 as well as Google’s parent company, Alphabet in 2015. Page is the 5th richest person in the United States and the world’s 6th richest individual. One of his properties in California is a 9,000 square foot estate in Palo Alto which he bought in 2005 for about $7.95 million. The billionaire was one of the early investors in electric automaker Tesla Motors.

2. Sergey Brin

Net worth$107 billion
Source of wealthGoogle
ResidenceLos Altos, California

Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded the Google search engine from a garage in Menlo Park, California. They were both Ph.D. students at Stanford University at the time. In 2019 they resigned from their executive posts at Alphabet. However, they still remain controlling shareholders and board members of the giant tech company. Together, Page and Brin own about 14% of the company’s publicly traded shares. Brin was born in Russia and moved to the U.S at the age of six. He’s the richest immigrant in the United States.

3. Mark Zuckerberg

Net worth$67.3 billion
Source of wealthFacebook
ResidencePalo Alto, California

Mark Zuckerberg is one of the billionaires who dropped out of college. He founded Facebook (now Meta Platforms Inc) in 2004 as a program for students to match names with photos. He was 19 and was in his sophomore year at Harvard. The billionaire later dropped out to work on Facebook. At the time of writing, Facebook was valued at $474.9 billion. Zuckerberg owns about 12% of the company’s stock and has been serving as CEO since 2004. According to Forbes, Zuckerberg is one of the most generous billionaires in America having given away $3 billion.

4. Eric Schmidt

Net worth$22.1 billion
Source of wealthGoogle
ResidenceAtherton, California

Eric Schmidt is one of the richest people in California. He’s best known for being the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011. Most of the billionaire’s wealth comes from Google. He also owns Innovation Endeavors, a venture capital firm that has invested in more than 200 companies including Uber, datorama, Fabric, and AlphaSense, among others. In 2015 the billionaire purchased a 20% stake in the hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. Schmidt is ranked the 70th wealthiest person in the world as of now. He worked at Sun Microsystems and Novell before joining Google as CEO in 2001.

5. Jensen Huang

Net worth$20.6 billion
Source of wealthNvidia
ResidenceLos Altos, California

Jensen Huang is a Taiwanese-American electrical engineer. He founded Nvidia, a technology company that makes semiconductors, chipsets, graphic processing units (GPUs) as well as central processing units (CPUs). The billionaire who serves as Nvidia’s CEO and president founded the corporation in 1993 on his 30th birthday. He owns about 3.6% of the $479.4 billion company. Jensen is ranked #78 on the 2022 World Billionaires List by Forbes.

6. Laurene Powell Jobs

Net worth$16.4 billion
Source of wealthApple, Disney
ResidencePalo Alto, California

She’s the richest woman in the Golden State. Laurene has a fortune of about $16.4 billion mainly from her stakes in Apple and Disney. The billionaire inherited her wealth from her husband Steve Jobs who was one of the cofounders of Apple. Laurene also owns the American magazine The Atlantic and holds a stake in American news website Axios as well as Ozy, an American media, and entertainment company. The billionaire also cofounded College Track, a nonprofit in Palo Alto that prepares underprivileged high school students for college.

Also read: The richest person in every state

7. Donald Bren

Net worth$16.2 billion
Source of wealthReal estate
ResidenceNewport Beach, California

He’s the 112th world’s wealthiest individual and one of the richest people in California. According to Forbes, Bren is the richest real estate mogul in the United States. He owns and chairs the real estate firm Irvine Company which boasts over 500 office buildings and more than 100 apartment complexes, 40 shopping centers, hotels as well as golf courses. Irvine Company owns over 120 million square feet of real estate and has a 97% stake in the MetLife building in Midtown Manhattan.

8. Robert Pera

Net worth$14.6 billion
Source of wealthUbiquiti Networks
ResidenceSan Jose, California

Robert Pera is an electrical engineer, CEO, and founder of Ubiquiti Networks, which makes and sells wireless and wired data communication equipment. Some of its brands include EdgeMax, UFiber, AirFiber, and UniFi.

After earning his masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego, the billionaire secured a job at Apple. He later quit his job in 2005 to implement an idea he had given to his bosses at Apple but was ignored, and that’s how Ubiquiti Networks was founded. He took the company public in 2011 and owns about 75% of it.

Pera is the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA. According to Forbes, he’s the youngest controlling owner in the league.

Also read: The richest people in New York

9. John Doerr

Net worth$12.7 billion
Source of wealthVenture capital
ResidenceWoodside, California

Doerr is an American venture capitalist, investor, and one of the richest people in California. The billionaire chairs Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm based in Menlo Park. He joined the company in 1980 and has led the firm to many crucial investments in companies such as Google, Amazon, Netscape, Twitter, and Slack among many others.

Kleiner Perkins invested $8 million in Amazon during its early years, an investment that’s now worth more than $1 billion. It also spent $12 million for a stake in Google in 1999 and $5 million for a stake in Netscape in 1994. It’s believed that Kleiner Perkins has invested in more than 900 startups since it was founded in 1972.

10. Charles Schwab

Net worth$12.2 billion
Source of wealthDiscount brokerage
ResidenceWoodside, California

Charles Robert Schwab is the founder of the financial services company Charles Schwab. He stepped down as the firm’s CEO in 2008. He however remains its chairman and the largest stockholder possessing about 7% of its stock. According to Forbes, the brokerage firm averages 6 million trades a day across 33 million client accounts worth $7.8 trillion. The billionaire is the 152nd world’s wealthiest individual. Charles Schwab Corporation is the seventh-largest banking institution in America with $607.5 billion worth of assets.

11. (tie) Brian Chesky

Net worth$11.5 billion
Source of wealthAirbnb
ResidenceSan Francisco, California

In October 2007 the Industrial Designers Society of America was hosting a conference in San Francisco. All hotel rooms were booked. Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were living in the city and since they could not afford the rent for the month, they decided to rent their apartment for some cash. They bought three air mattresses and had three guests staying the first night. They described it as “Airbed and Breakfast” and that’s how the idea of Airbnb was born.

Chesky serves as the CEO of the $100 billion company, which had $4.81 billion in revenue last year. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Airbnb has more than six million listings in 100,000 cities and towns globally.

11. (tie) Dustin Moskovitz

Net worth$11.5 billion
Source of wealthFacebook
ResidenceSan Francisco, California

Dustin co-founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg from their dorm at Harvard. He left Facebook in 2008 and cofounded Asana, a workflow software together with Justin Rosenstein. Asana went public in 2020 and is currently valued at $5.4 billion. Dustin serves as the CEO of the company, which had $227 million in revenue last year.

However, most of the billionaire’s fortune comes from his 2.3% stake in Facebook. Together with his wife Tuna, Dustin founded the philanthropic organization Good Ventures. They are members of the Giving Pledge and are the youngest couple to sign the pledge. Dustin was the world’s youngest self-made billionaire in 2012. He’s one of the richest people in California.

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