To give or not to give: Here are the stingiest tech gazillionaires

Summary:Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, and Steve Ballmer are among the least generous (or are secret philanthropists) says Inside Philanthropy magazine.

Inside Philanthropy has a fascinating list of the top philanthropists in the tech industry. (You’ll be surprised at who is at the top: Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner, the original founders of Cisco Systems).

It also includes the six least generous (a generous way to say, “the tightest and least charitable”) tech billionaires.

Jeff Bezos should learn from his parents:

A libertarian known for his belief in self-reliance—engaged in virtually no philanthropy for years… For a long time, his parents did more giving with their Amazon shares than Bezos did with his billions. Now things are starting to change, with a few high profile gifts going out the door for brain science and cancer research…

Larry Page has short arms:

If this Google co-founder, who's worth $32 billion, has a secret philanthropic life, we'd love to know about it. Because right now it looks like he's a big cheerleader for Google's philanthropic and social endeavors, while kicking the can down the road in terms of engaging in his own serious philanthropy.

Steve Ballmer lost his check book:

We've predicted that he and his wife Connie, a nonprofit veteran, will soon turn on the giving spigot in a big way, drawing on a $19 billion fortune. Otherwise, Ballmer has largely been a no-show in terms of his own philanthropy beyond the occasional big gift here and there.

Larry Ellison has given about half-a-billion dollars to medical research over his lifetime but not much in recent years.

Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo! has made just one gift, $75m to his alma mater — a comparative drop from his green ocean.

Bebo co-founders Michael Birch and wife Xochti made out very well when they sold to AOL. Their $595m has been spent on: 

$29 million for a mansion in Pacific Heights and then $13.6 million for a vineyard estate in Sonoma. More recently, Birch has spent millions on his latest cause, which is a private club where the Bay Area elite can hobnob.

Read: Meet the 12 Most Generous Tech Leaders. . . And 6 of the Least 

Topics: Tech Industry

About

In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley.Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leadi... Full Bio

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