Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin join $100bn club

The duo have added more than $20bn each to their wealth this year as tech stocks continue to surge

(GERMANY OUT) Google - Gründer und Präsident, Russland / USAmit seinem Partner Larry Page (r) (Photo by JOKER/Martin Magunia/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
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Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have joined the exclusive $100 billion club as tech stocks continue to surge during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The world now has eight centibillionaires, or people with personal wealth more than $100bn.

Mr Brin’s fortune grew by $20.4bn in the year to April 2021, while Mr Page’s rose by $21.2bn, Bloomberg said.

Technology industry leaders have led the boost in wealth creation globally as the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the switch to online services. The tech-focused Nasdaq 100 Index has risen more than 7 per cent this year, with Google parent Alphabet rallying in recent weeks after the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of the tech giant in its $9bn copyright battle with Oracle.

Other members of the $100bn club include Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos with a net worth of $196.6bn, Tesla founder Elon Musk ($174.8bn), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ($144.6bn), LVMH Moet Hennessy's Bernard Arnault ($131.8bn), Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg ($118.1bn), Mr Page ($103.6bn), Berkshire Hathaway chairman and chief executive Warren Buffett ($100.7bn) and Mr Brin ($100.2bn), according to the index.

"The world’s eight richest people together hold fortunes of more than $1 trillion and have added $110bn combined this year," Bloomberg said.

Mr Page and Mr Brin co-founded Google in 1996 when they were PhD students at Stanford University. In 2015, the pair founded the holding company Alphabet to manage Google and other subsidiaries. In 2019, Mr Page and Mr Brin announced plans to step back from Alphabet and appointed Mr Sundar Pichai as chief executive.

In 2017, Mr Bezos was the first person to hit the $100bn milestone since Mr Gates, who first joined the centibillionaire club in July 1999 during the dotcom boom, but his wealth slumped as Microsoft shares fell. He only rejoined the $100bn club in 2019 and is now worth almost $145bn.

Mr Musk and Mr Zuckerberg joined the $100bn club last year. However, Mr Musk’s rise has been meteoric after Tesla became one of the big winners of the boom in technology stocks during the coronavirus pandemic. He is now the world’s second-richest person with a net worth of $175bn. The Tesla founder has added $5.1bn to his wealth this year.

Mr Buffett briefly reached the $100bn mark in March before hitting it again last week, while Mr Arnault has been part of the elite group on and off since 2019, according to Bloomberg.