Syndicated — The new rock stars on the Forbes list of wealthiest people in the world aren't bankers or investors, movie stars or pop singers. They're techies.
And with Facebook's long-awaited IPO on the NASDAQ last week, the social website's creator and execs have officially joined the technology billionaires' club.
Facebook's stock price may have retreated from its opening mark, but even that surprising price fade could not keep it from being the third-largest IPO ever.
In honor of Facebook's heralded entry into the public domain - and the billions in cash it generated for the company and investors - we're taking a look at the Facebook founders' real estate holdings as well as other titans of the tech industry.
For years, the 28-year-old Facebook founder was a renter, preferring modest homes within walking distance of the company headquarters in Menlo Park. Despite a net worth topping $15 billion, he bought a 5-bedroom, 5.5-bath home for $7 million. The 5,617-square-feet Palo Alto home (above) has more than enough room for Zuckerberg, including an outdoor gazebo with wood-burning fireplace, salt-water swimming pool, and spa. The home is set back from the street, covered partially by greenery. It's luxe, but pales in comparison to some of Zuckerberg's peers.
Sean Parker still has a 4 percent stake in Facebook, meaning the recent IPO upped his net worth significantly. Parker purchased a Greenwich Village party house nicknamed the "Bacchus House" for $20 million in January 2011 after renting it for $45,000 a month. The Beaux Arts-style home (above) is situated on one of the best streets in Greenwich Village, adjacent to a row of aristocratic mansions. The 7,500-square-foot home includes 6 bedrooms, 7.5 baths, a highly coveted private garage, indoor pool and a landscaped atrium.
Sheryl Sandberg owns a stately home right in the heart of the Bay Area with her husband David Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey. The power couple hosted President Barack Obama at their Atherton house (above) for a $38,500 per person fundraiser in September 2011. Sandberg and Goldberg purchased the 12,470-square-foot home in 2004 for $7.995 million.
Thiel prefers to live outside of Silicon Valley in a home above the Sunset Strip. The property - coined the Chasen residence (above) - was originally built in 1950 by Hollywood designer Paul Revere Williams for restauranteur Dave Chasen. Like other billionaires, Thiel had the home completely customized, so the current property facts (4 bedrooms, 5 baths) may not tell the true story of the home's interior design. Reuters reports he owns 2.5 percent of Facebook.
It's safe to say that the second-richest man in the world - checking in at $61 billion - could live wherever he wants. But Seattle is home for the Microsoft founder, who has long lived in a custom family compound on Lake Washington in Medina, an enclave that looks directly across the lake to Seattle. Gates' 5-acre estate includes both a family and guest wing, 6 kitchens, a 60-foot swimming pool, domed library, 1,000-sq ft dining hall and is said to be chock full of tech-savvy amenities (secret bookcases, sound-activated lighting and underwater music system.)
Net worth:$36 billion
Ellison racks up an approximate $1.84 billion salary as the CEO and founder of Oracle. In addition to making sizable charitable donations, Ellison shows no shame in spending his self-made millions on personal items. His prized possessions include a private yacht, private jet, numerous exotic cars and a Woodside, CA estate, inspired by ancient Japanese architecture (pictured above.) Ellison's unique property spreads over 23 acres, includes a 7,800-sq ft main house, 9 other buildings and sits on a 2.3-acre, man-made lake. Before constructing the custom compound, Ellison sifted through a 5,000-square feet Manhattan penthouse, 8,000-sq ft Atherton mansion, and spent over $180,000,000 on 12 properties in Malibu. His most recent real estate investment includes a $10.5-million splurge in January 2010 on the historic Astor's Beechwood Mansion in Newport, RI. His Woodside home is his main residence.
Net worth: $6.3 billion
Eric Schmidt enjoys his non-Google time with his family in the affluent neighborhood of Atherton. Located on a large, private lot, Schmidt's home has approximately 4,840 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. Schmidt also owns a $20 million Montecito property that he purchased in 2007 from Hollywood couple Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. It's him (and Google) we have to thank for many of the aerial photos in this post.