BETA
This is a BETA experience. You may opt-out by clicking here
Billionaires 2024
Edit Story
16x9-desktop-richest in ai

The Billionaires Getting Rich From AI 2024

AMD's stock rally made CEO Lisa Su one of just 26 U.S. self-made women and 26 hired executives to re... [+] Illustration by Kevin McGivern for Forbes
Updated Apr 2, 2024, 11:33am EDT

Surging values for both public and private companies with ties to AI led to a flurry of new billionaires in the sector.

By Phoebe Liu, Forbes Staff


Ayear and a half after ChatGPT burst onto the scene, making artificial intelligence dinner table talk and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman nearly a household name, the AI gold rush is in full swing. Over the past year, tech companies—both new and old—have seen their share prices skyrocket, making the world’s tech tycoons even richer and pushing more than a dozen new AI billionaires onto ForbesWorld’s Billionaires list.

The poster child for all this is Nvidia cofounder and CEO Jensen Huang. Nvidia’s stock price shot up nearly 300% over the past year, landing Huang among the world’s 20 richest people (at No. 20) for the first time. Several other companies rode the wave as well. Shares of Super Micro Computer, which makes servers that handle computing-power-intensive AI applications, performed even better than Nvidia’s—up more than 10-fold in the last year, more than any company on the S&P 500—making its cofounders, husband and wife Charles Liang and Sara Liu, new billionaires. Semiconductor firm Advanced Micro Devices’ CEO, Lisa Su, entered the billionaire ranks this year as well, due to a 120% rise in AMD’s share price. And Cloudflare, a cybersecurity company heavily reliant on AI, saw its shares go up 86%, making chief operating officer Michelle Zatlyn a new billionaire and boosting CEO Matthew Prince’s fortune to $3.4 billion, from $2 billion in 2023.

Privately owned AI companies have taken off, too. Last year, AI-centric startups raised nearly $50 billion in funding, according to Crunchbase, amid a slower year for venture investments generally. OpenAI is the biggest of them, worth some $80 billion-plus after a reported $10 billion investment from Microsoft last January. Though its CEO Altman has no equity in the company, Forbes estimates he’s a billionaire due to his network of venture investments. Two new billionaires from AI startups also join the list: Notion cofounder and CEO Ivan Zhao, based on his stake in the $5 billion (estimated valuation) productivity app going all-in on AI, and Brett Adcock, founder and CEO of the $2.6 billion (valuation) AI robot company Figure.

A significant amount of the private company funding has come from the legacy tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet, who are hoping to win what has become an AI arms race. For now, there’s no telling if or when the AI bubble may burst and funding may dry up, but it’s starting to show some cracks: Inflection AI—cofounded by billionaire investor Reid Hoffman—abandoned its chatbot, and its other two cofounders and other researchers left for AI jobs at Microsoft in March.

Here are nine new billionaires whose companies are tied to AI.

NET WORTHS ARE AS OF MARCH 8, 2024.


Charles Liang

Net Worth: $6.1 Billion | Source of Wealth: Computer hardware | Country: U.S.

Liang cofounded IT infrastructure firm Super Micro Computer in 1993. Its servers and storage systems are now in hot demand among AI and cloud computing firms. Revenues hit a record $7 billion in fiscal year 2023. The stock is up more than 1,100% over the past 12 months, outperforming even its own chip-making partners, such as Nvidia, Intel and AMD. Liang’s wife, Sara Liu, is a senior vice president at Super Micro and also a new billionaire.


Kwak Dong Shin

Net Worth: $2.9 Billion | Source of Wealth: Semiconductors | Country: South Korea

Shin runs Hanmi Semiconductor, which his father founded in 1980. Hanmi manufactures equipment used in semiconductor packaging—one of the final stages of chip production. Among its key customers: Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. Business is booming thanks to the AI craze, with shares up more than 560% over the past year.


Shunsaku Sagami

Net worth: $1.9 Billion | Source of Wealth: M&A brokerage | Country: Japan

The 33-year-old’s M&A Research Institute plays matchmaker for sellers of small-to-medium size businesses. It uses AI to find potential buyers for these outfits, which are often owned by older people grappling with succession and wanting to cash out. Sagami’s firm was listed in Tokyo in 2022.


Ivan Zhao

Net Worth: $1.5 Billion | Source of Wealth: Notion | Country: U.S.

The cofounder and CEO of productivity startup Notion is a far cry from 2015, when he and his cofounder Simon Last laid off all their employees, sublet their San Francisco office and moved to Kyoto, Japan. The now-profitable Notion is going all-in on AI and is valued at around $5 billion from secondary market transactions on an estimated $250 million in revenue.


Brett Adcock

Net Worth: $1.4 Billion | Source of Wealth: Robots | Country: U.S.

Figure, which Adcock founded in 2022, is working to bring an AI-powered “general purpose humanoid” to life and insert the robots into the labor force. In February, the company raised $675 million from heavyweight investors including Jeff Bezos, Microsoft, Nvidia and OpenAI, at a $2.6 billion valuation. Adcock, 37, owns an estimated 50%.


Lisa Su

Net Worth: $1.3 Billion | Source of Wealth: Semiconductors | Country: U.S.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices have soared more than 60-fold since Su took the reins in 2014 and turned the struggling semiconductor firm into an AI darling. The daughter of a mathematician and bookkeeper turned entrepreneur, Su was born in Taiwan and immigrated to New York City at age 3. She studied electrical engineering at MIT because it seemed to be the most difficult major.


Michelle Zatlyn

Net Worth: $1.2 Billion | Source of Wealth: Cybersecurity | Country: Canada

Zatlyn’s Cloudflare employs AI to safeguard its customers and thwart cyber-attacks. The San Francisco-based firm also provides space in the cloud for developers to construct their own AI models. A Canada native, Zatlyn studied chemistry at Montreal’s McGill University and did stints at Google and Toshiba before cofounding Cloudflare in 2009 with her Harvard Business School classmate Matthew Prince, who is CEO and also a billionaire. COO Zatlyn owns about 2% of the company’s shares, which have shot up 65% since last year.


Sam Altman

Net Worth: $1 Billion | Source of Wealth: Investments | Country: U.S.

The OpenAI CEO kicked off the AI explosion with the 2022 launch of ChatGPT but owns no equity in the firm, which is estimated to be worth $80 billion-plus. Instead, the 38-year-old, who was dramatically fired and rehired by OpenAI last November, owes his wealth to investments he made as president of startup incubator Y Combinator from 2014 to 2019, an early bet on Stripe, and stakes in Reddit and nuclear fusion startup Helion.


Harvey Jones

Net Worth: $1 Billion | Source of Wealth: Nvidia | Country: U.S.

A longtime tech investor and entrepreneur, Jones is a founding board member of Nvidia and owns 0.03% of its shares, enough to make him one of the biggest beneficiaries of the AI-fueled, 300% boom in Nvidia stock since last year.



MORE FROM FORBES

ForbesThe $100 Billion Club: These 14 People Have 12-Figure FortunesForbesNew Billionaires 2024: Taylor Swift, Magic Johnson And 263 Others Join The Ranks This YearForbesThe 10 Biggest Billionaire Gainers 2024ForbesThe World's Celebrity Billionaires 2024ForbesTech Billionaires Have Added An Astonishing $750 Billion To Their Fortunes Over The Past Year
Follow me on Twitter or LinkedInSend me a secure tip
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news