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Bill Gates loses $7bn, but still richest in USA

The overall net worth of the Forbes's list of the 400 richest Americans fell by $300bn in the past year, with Microsoft stalwarts Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer among the biggest losers.

Bill Gates lost the most, with his net worth dropping $7bn. However, Bill Gates is still at the top of the list for the 16th consecutive year with $50bn.

Paul Allen, at 17th position, lost $4.5bn and Steve Ballmer, at number 14, gave up $1.7bn.

It was revealed this week that Ballmer had taken a 5.5% pay cut in the past year. Steve Ballmer's bonus was slashed by $100,000, taking his annual income down to $1,276,627.

Other losers in the technology sector include Michael Dell, down $2.8bn at number 13, and SAS's James Goodnight, down $1.9bn at number 33.

Apple's Steve Jobs lost only $600m and his $5.1bn net worth shot him up the Forbes list 18 places to number 43.

The 12 richest in the technology sector 
1) Bill Gates, Microsoft: $50bn, down $7bn
3) Larry Ellison, Oracle: $27bn, no change
11) Sergey Brin, Google: $15.3bn, down $600m
11) Larry Page, Google: $15.3bn, down $500m
13) Michael Dell, Dell: $14.5bn, down $2.8bn
14) Steve Ballmer, Microsoft: $13.3bn, down $1.7bn
17) Paul Allen, Microsoft: $11.5bn, down $4.5bn
28) Jeff Bezos, Amazon: $8.8bn, up $100m
33) James Goodnight, SAS Institute: $6.8bn, down $1.9bn
40) Pierre Omidyar, eBay: $5.5bn, down $800m
40) Eric Schmidt, Google: $5.5bn, down $400m

43) Steve Jobs, Apple, Pixar: $5.1bn, down $600m


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