It comes as little surprise that social media entrepreneurs are riding high these days. The global industry is currently worth $215 billion, and the brains behind the likes of Facebook, Groupon, Baidu and LinkedIn are amassing Croesus-like personal fortunes, according to a study of the world’s 30 richest social media entrepreneurs released Thursday by Wealth-X.
More than half of the individuals on Wealth-X’s list live in the U.S., where valuations are soaring, public offerings make news and Google is playing catch-up with Google+.
Chinese social media tycoons are coming up fast, with nine people on the list. In the world’s largest Internet market, China’s social media sector will remain hot and its leaders will grow richer, according to Wealth-X. Absent competition from Facebook, which the Communist government banned supposedly for security concerns, firms like Tencent, Renren and Sina are gladly providing micro blogging, gaming and video sharing.
Following are the Wealth-X top 30 social media entrepreneurs.
1) Mark Zuckerberg (left), co-founder and CEO, Facebook, U.S.
Net worth: $15.8 billion
2) Larry Page, co-founder and CEO, Google, U.S.
Net worth: $15.7 billion
3) Sergey Brin, co-founder and director of special projects, Google, U.S.
Net worth: $15.4 billion
4) Robin Yanhong Li, co-founder, chairman and CEO, Baidu, China
Net worth: $9.5 billion
5) Anil Ambani, chairman, Reliance Entertainment, India
Net worth: $6.9 billion
6) Eric Schmidt (left), executive chairman, Google, U.S.
Net worth: $6.6 billion
7) Ma Huateng, cofounder, chairman and CEO, Tencent, China
Net worth: $5 billion
8) Eric Lefkofsky (see next page), co-founder and executive chairman, Groupon, U.S.
Net worth: $4 billion
9) Mark Pincus, founder and CEO, Zynga, U.S.
Net worth: $2.9 billion
10) Yoshikazu Tanaka, founder and CEO, Gree, Japan
Net worth: $2.8 billion
11) William Lei Ding, founder and CEO, Netease.com, China
Net worth: $2.6 billion
12) Joseph Yizhou Chen, founder, chairman and CEO, Renren, China
Net worth: $1.9 billion
13) Zhang Zhidong, co-founder and CTO, Tencent, China
Net worth: $1.7 billion
14) Andrew Mason (above left), co-founder and CEO, Groupon, U.S.