America's 40 Richest Under 40 Sure, they're poorer than last year (well, most of them). But they've still got you beat. Turn the page to see our foldout list.
(FORTUNE Magazine) – A hundred and fifty million dollars? Ha! we snorted. A guy (or gal) with that kind of measly net worth couldn't possibly hope to make FORTUNE's list of the 40 richest self-made Americans under 40. After all, the poorest person on last year's list boasted nearly three times that much.
Were we ever wrong. During the subsequent four months we spent tracking down our young captains of capitalism--sifting through thousands of names, scouring SEC documents, and interviewing scores of financial analysts and industry experts--the stock market's downward drift forced us to decrease the minimum wealth threshold to $250 million, then $200 million, and finally to, yes, $150 million. Last year's list contained 13 billionaires; this year's, five. (For more on the 40 under 40, go to www.fortune.com/40.)
As in previous years, we stuck to two hard-and-fast rules. Those on the list had to have made their own fortune, not inherited it, which eliminated such candidates as Fidelity billionaire Abigail Johnson. And their 40th birthdays had to fall after Sept. 17, 2001, the date of this issue.
How did we crunch the numbers? For those whose wealth came from ownership in a public company, we relied mainly on proxy statements, insider-trading records, and other public documents. We calculated wealth based on the number of shares and exercisable options held, using Aug. 10 closing prices, and subtracted an assumed tax rate for insider trades and cash deals.
Sizing up the wealth of people at private companies was more complicated. A team led by Paul Hammer at investment bank Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin figured values for most private firms; analyst Terri Ritenour of Kagan World Media handled the sports teams. When in doubt, we threw them out. For example, we eliminated a few moguls who claimed to be worth hundreds of millions but who couldn't provide adequate details for us to verify the value of their holdings.
That brings us to the trickiest part of this year's list: the celebrities. Estimating the worth of these mini-empires was, as one Hollywood exec put it, "like nailing Jell-O to the wall." To gather information, we interviewed recording-company executives, agents, film and television producers, entertainment attorneys, and other insiders. Our final estimates are based primarily on career salaries, earnings from endorsements and other ventures, and the value of any equity stakes in private companies; we also accounted for taxes, agents' takes, and a reasonable investment return.
Many people weren't particularly eager to appear on our list. One CEO asked us to remove him, fearing that his presence would look bad in light of recent layoffs at his company. (Turns out he's too poor anyway.) Several other execs respectfully declined what they termed "the invitation" to be on the list. But there are no RSVPs to FORTUNE's 40 under 40. In the end, the numbers rule.
REPORTER ASSOCIATES Seema Bhardwaj, Mark Borden, Paola Hjelt, Noshua Watson; researchers Doris Burke, Mary Danehy, Joan Levinstein, Patricia Neering; additional research Thomson Financial Wealth Identification
How They Stack Up Omidyar's richer, Waitt's poorer, and perennial list-topper Dell leaves everyone in the dust.
1 Michael Dell Chairman/CEO/Founder Dell Computer Wealth $16.30 billion--Age 36 His non-Dell Computer holdings are so vast that even if Dell stock lost all its value, he'd still be No. 1. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 1, with $17.08 billion
2 Pierre Omidyar Chairman/Founder eBay Wealth $4.39 billion--Age 34 The 26% rise in eBay stock over the past 12 months helped swell his wealth by $950 million. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 6, with $3.44 billion
3 Jeff Skoll Vice President eBay Wealth $2.63 billion--Age 36 Skoll recently helped found the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund, a group that helps young philanthropists donate their money intelligently. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 8, with $2.16 billion
4 Ted Waitt Chairman/CEO/Co-Founder Gateway Wealth $1.87 billion--Age 38 Win some, lose some: Waitt took back his CEO seat this year, but he also lost more money--$6.67 billion--than anyone else on the list. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 2, with $8.54 billion
5 Jeff Bezos Chairman/President/CEO Amazon.com WEALTH $1.23 billion--AGE 37 This billionaire's secret vice: He likes to play the $5 craps tables in Vegas. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 5, with $4.05 billion
6 Vinny Smith Chairman/CEO Quest Software Wealth $780 million--Age 37 Smith remains resolutely optimistic: "Tough times are the best opportunities for good companies to become better." LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 9, with $1.93 billion
7 David Filo Chief Yahoo/Co-Founder Yahoo Wealth $730 million--Age 35 Now, that's company loyalty: Even with Yahoo stock down 93.5% from its peak, Filo hasn't sold a single share since it went public. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 3, with $6.03 billion
8 Jerry Yang Chief Yahoo/Co-Founder Yahoo Wealth $721 million--Age 32 Among his idols: No. 1 Michael Dell, Michael Bloomberg, Andy Grove, and sumo wrestler Akebono. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 4, with $5.85 billion
9 Rob Glaser Chairman/CEO/Founder RealNetworks Wealth $635 million--Age 39 A co-owner of the Professional Bowlers Association since last year, Glaser recently began awarding stock options to top players. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 7, with $2.27 billion
10 Dan Snyder Chairman/Principal Owner Washington Redskins Wealth $604 million--Age 36 Sports fans recently voted him one of six sports executives they most want to keep quiet. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 33, with $540 million
11 Greg Reyes Chairman/CEO, Brocade Communications Systems Wealth $518 million--Age 39 "I haven't really felt a difference," says Reyes now that he's $512 million poorer. "I still lead the best company in the world." LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 13, with $1.03 billion
12 Jen-Hsun Huang President/CEO/Co-Founder Nvidia Wealth $507 million--Age 38 Lucky star: Huang was born on Feb. 17, 1963--the same day as No. 13 Michael Jordan. NEW THIS YEAR
13 Michael Jordan President, basketball operations, Washington Wizards Wealth $398 million--Age 38 If Jordan does hit the court again, NBA rules say he'll have to sell his stake in Lincoln Holdings, which owns the Wizards. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 40, with $431 million
14 Joe Liemandt Chairman/CEO/Founder Trilogy Wealth $390 million--Age 33 It helps to have the right friends: Liemandt, who founded Trilogy at the tender age of 20, cites family pal Jack Welch as a guiding influence. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 31, with $577 million
15 Jeanette Symons CTO/VP, Engineering Zhone Technologies Wealth $374 million--Age 39 This former world-class gymnast (she made the 1980 U.S. Olympic team) still flies through the air--by piloting her Citation V Ultra jet. NEW THIS YEAR
16 Pantas Sutardja Co-Founder/CTO/Director Marvell Wealth $363 million--Age 38 His business partners, brother Sehat and sister-in-law Weili Dai, both 40, are just as rich. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 27, with $611 million
17 John Schnatter CEO/Founder Papa John's International Wealth $293 million--Age 39 Before the dot-com bubble burst, Schnatter had a brainstorm: Sell pizza on the Internet! Percentage of his pies now sold that way: 1. 1999 RANK: No. 26 (fell off 2000 list)
18 Sanjay Kumar President/CEO, Computer Associates International Wealth $270 million--Age 39 A native of Sri Lanka, Kumar is paying the tuition for 25,000 students to study at regional universities in India this year. 1999 Rank: No. 32 (fell off 2000 list)
19 Tom Cruise Co-Owner Cruise/Wagner Productions Wealth $251 million--Age 39 Cruising for a bruising: The actor's upcoming financial settlement with ex-wife Nicole Kidman may eat a chunk of his wealth. NEW THIS YEAR
20 Percy Miller (Master P) CEO No Limit Wealth $249 million--Age 32 "Some people come from a family of money," says Master P. "I come from a family of struggle." 1999 Rank: No. 28 (fell off 2000 list)
21 James T. Demetriades Chairman/CEO/Founder SeeBeyond Wealth $239 million--Age 38 His biggest indulgence? Sailing: Demetriades just finished a ten-day race from Southern California to Honolulu. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 25, with $622 million
22 Sean Combs (P. Diddy) CEO Bad Boy Entertainment Wealth $231 million--Age 31 Back to basics: Last month Combs unveiled a collection of men's underwear he designed. NEW THIS YEAR
23 Jerry Greenberg Co-Chairman/Co-CEO/ Co-Founder, Sapient Wealth $225 million--Age 35 Pinching pennies: Greenberg, who lost more than a billion over the past 12 months, is still driving the same Porsche he bought in 1996. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 11, with $1.47 billion
24 J. Stuart Moore Co-Chairman/Co-CEO/Co-Founder, Sapient Wealth $224 million--Age 39 Moore's last vacation: to the Legoland theme park in Carlsbad, Calif., with his wife and five children. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 12, with $1.37 billion
25 Sudhakar Ravi CTO/Co-founder SonicWALL Wealth $218.9 million--Age 36 When he and little brother Sreekanth, No. 26, couldn't find an affordable Internet firewall, they decided to build one themselves. NEW THIS YEAR
26 Sreekanth Ravi Chairman/President/CEO/Co-Founder, SonicWALL Wealth $218.7 million--Age 35 His extensive art collection includes works by Chagall, Dali, Matisse, and Picasso. NEW THIS YEAR
27 David Hitz Executive VP/Co-Founder Network Appliance Wealth $202 million--Age 38 Dynamic duo: Hitz's roommate at Princeton was No. 5 Jeff Bezos. NEW THIS YEAR
28 John L. MacFarlane Executive VP Openwave Systems Wealth $198 million--Age 35 Before starting Software.com, MacFarlane designed optical signals for the U.S. Navy. NEW THIS YEAR
29 Jeffrey Citron CEO/Co-Founder Vonage Wealth $194 million--Age 31 The former Datek CEO co-founded telecom service provider Vonage earlier this year. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 24, with $627 million
30 Raul Fernandez CEO, Dimension Data North America Wealth $188 million--Age 35 British firm Dimension Data Holdings bought Fernandez-led Proxicom in June; now he runs its U.S. division. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 32, with $573 million
31 Eric Greenberg President/CEO Innovation Investments Wealth $187.3 million--Age 37 This Scient founder's 11,000-bottle wine collection includes cognac once owned by Napoleon. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 28, with $603 million
32 Chris Klaus CTO/Founder Internet Security Systems Wealth $186.7 million--Age 28 This Georgia Tech dropout recently donated $15 million to the school to build a new technology center.
33 Anousheh Ansari Vice President/General Manager, Sonus Networks Wealth $180.3 million--Age 35 Money can't buy privacy: Ansari shares a house with her father-in-law and brother-in-law. NEW THIS YEAR
34 Halsey Minor Chairman/CEO 12 Entrepreneuring Wealth $180.2 million--Age 36 His first venture: a computerized apartment-listing service in college 1999 Rank: No. 31, with $354.9 million
35 Michael Saylor Chairman/CEO/Co-Founder MicroStrategy Wealth $179.9 million--Age 36 Since February he has been unloading 15,000 shares of MicroStrategy every trading day. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 15, with $902 million
36 Jim Carrey Owner Pit Bull Productions Wealth $171 million--Age 39 After wrapping his 2000 hit The Grinch, he bought four $100,000 Porsches for his management team. NEW THIS YEAR
37 Jonathan M. Rothberg Chairman/CEO/Founder CuraGen Wealth $168 million--Age 38 With two master's degrees and a Ph.D., he got a late start in business: "I would be on the top of your rich list if I had skipped graduate school." NEW THIS YEAR
38 Marc Andreessen Chairman/Co-Founder Loudcloud Wealth $166 million--Age 30 Poor Marc: The only one of the 40 to take a company public this year, he watched Loudcloud's stock price plunge from $5.72 to $1.63 on Aug. 10. LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 37, with $498 million
39 Nav Sooch Chairman/CEO/Co-Founder Silicon Laboratories Wealth $162 million--Age 38 His first purchase when he struck it rich: a Chrysler minivan. (He's since traded up to a Chevy Suburban, Porsche 911, and BMW M5.) LAST YEAR'S RANK: No. 35, with $522 million
40 Tiger Woods President ETW Wealth $160 million--Age 25 Nike's Air-apparent? The golf wunderkind (and youngest person on the list) just signed a new $100 million contract with the sneaker maker. NEW THIS YEAR
Our 2001 valuation for Michael Dell incorporates new information we were able to gather about his non-Dell Computer assets. Had we included those assets last year, his net worth would have been approximately $20 billion.
We mistakenly omitted David Hitz from the 2000 list. He would have ranked No. 15, with $918 million.