Jim Goodnight is annually ranked as one of the world’s richest men. Now he’s ranked among the top 10 wealthiest technology billionaires.
New data from Bloomberg Billionaires Index on Friday shows that Goodnight, 69, has joined the elite 10, toppling Facebook’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, 28.
Zuckerberg’s net worth has plunged $423 million as of Thursday as the stock price of Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) continues to drop from its recent initial public offering price of $38.
Shares fell again Thursday to $20.04, down 4 percent, Bloomberg noted.
Bad news for Zuckerberg is good news for Goodnight, the co-founder and CEO of Cary-based SAS.
While Facebook has struggled, SAS – the world’s largest privately held software company, continues to grow.
That means in part an increase in Goodnight’s net worth, which Bloomberg estimates to be $10.6 billion.
Forbes magazine, in its annual survey of the world’s billionaires, estimates Goodnight’s fortune at $7.3 billion and listed him in March as the richest 125th person.
Zuckerberg’s fortune is based on his ownership of 503.6 million shares of Facebook, including 60 million options that have an exercise price of 6 cents a share. He also has about $150 million in cash and other liquid assets
“From an emotional standpoint, [Zuckerberg] might care,” said Ron Florance, managing director of investment strategy for Wells Fargo Private Bank, in a telephone interview from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “He’s much more worried about maintaining Facebook’s market share in the social media space than the day- to-day valuation swings of his company stock. He’s not worried about going broke.”
Larry Yu, a company spokesman, didn’t respond to a phone call requesting comment.
Goodnight, 69, co-founded SAS in 1976, and is worth $10.6 billion. The company is the world’s largest closely held software maker and generated revenue of $2.7 billion in 2011, up 12 percent in a year.
SAS is valued at $15.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The valuation is based on the average enterprise value-to-earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization multiple of five publicly traded peers. A premium has been applied, based on recent transactions in the software industry.
Goodnight, who holds two-thirds of SAS, also co-owns the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, North Carolina, and has collected dividend payments over more than three decades.
Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates is the richest technology billionaire in the world with a net worth of $61.6 billion, according to the index.
The top 10:
- Bill Gates, $61.6 billion
- Larry Ellison (Oracle), $38.2 billion
- Jeff Bezos (Amazon), $21.5 billion
- Larry Page (Google), $19.1 billion
- Sergey Brin (Google), $18.9 billion
- Paul Allen (Microsoft), $14.7 billion
- Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), $14.1 billion
- Azi Premji (Wipro), $13.4 billion
- Michael Dell (Dell), $13.1 billion
- Jim Goodnight, SAS ($10.6 billion)
According to Bloomberg, the index is a daily ranking.
“In calculating net worth, we strive to provide the most transparent estimates available,” Bloomberg says at the Index website. “The index is a dynamic measure of the world’s wealthy based on changes in markets, the economy and Bloomberg reporting. Each net-worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. New York time. Stakes in publicly traded companies are valued using the share’s most recent closing price. All numbers are in U.S. dollars at current exchange rates.
“Private companies are valued in several ways, such as by comparing the enterprise values or price-to-earnings ratios of similar public companies. The criteria used depends on the firm’s industry and size. Estimates of private company debt are based on comparable peers.
“When ownership of private assets cannot be verified, they aren’t included in the calculations. The specific valuation methodology for each private company is included in the net-worth analysis section of a billionaire’s profile.”
(Bloomberg news contributed to this report.)