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Gates no longer richest man on planet

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Bill Gates is no longer the richest man on the planet. Thanks to the DoJ and the recent fall in tech stocks, poor ole Bill will have to make do with £37.5 billion. He had lead the world for three years thanks to his huge share holding in Microsoft but now new king of the castle is publicity-shy head of Wal-Mart S Robson Walton - worth a staggering £45.3 billion.

The figures come courtesy of the Sunday Times Rich List, which lists the 1,000 richest folk in the UK. Aside from Bill's "downfall" though, the list makes depressing reading for some folk in IT. Of the top 20 biggest losers of money this year, no less that seven come from the IT industry.

Gordon Crawford of London Bridge Software lost £771 million this year thanks to a share slump. But you won't find him in the gutter seeing as he is still worth £529 million and is the 50th richest man in the UK. Mike Lynch of Autonomy lost £426 million (but is still worth £256 million). The boys behind reseller Computacenter also lost a fair bit: Peter Ogden down £300 million and Philip Hume down £335 million. That's gotta hurt.

Looking at the bigger picture, an interesting set of trends appear. If you're a computer reseller, a chip manufacturer or an Internet services man, you will have had a very bad year financially (better scrap plans for that superyacht then). However, make computer games or software or sell mobiles phones and the champagne corks will have been flying.

But that's the crazy world of IT for you. Listed below are the IT-related revoltingly rich folk from the list's top 100: ®

7= Terry Matthews (Mitel, Newbridge Networks) £1,700 million
23 John Caudwell (mobiles - best known for phones4U) £973 million
26 Stelios Haji-Ioannou (easyJet and Internet cafes) £873 million
42 Charles Dunstone (Carphone Warehouse) £670 million
49 Sir Alan Sugar (Amstrad, Viglen, Tottenham Hotspur and property) £544 million
50 Gordon Crawford (London Bridge Software) £529 million
51= David Sullivan (free4internet.net + media and property) £500 million
58 David Ross (Carphone Warehouse) £466 million
61= David Hood (city-visitor.com + aircraft chartering) £450 million
67= Paul Sykes (Planet Online + property) £425 million
73= Peter Cruddas (deal4free online broker) £400 million
73= David and Richard Darling (computer racing games) £400 million
73= Peter Wilkinson (Planet Online) £400 million
87= Peter Rigby (reseller SCH) £350 million
94 Robert Terry (insurance software) £335 million

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