According to Forbes’ Billionaires list, the world now has 793 billionaires, 29% less than the 1,125 from a year ago. Like most of the people on and now off this list, Moritz and Rock have seen their wealth shrink due to a plunging stock market.
Rock was ranked at No. 1,014 on the 2008 billionaires list with a fortune of $1.1 billion. His early investment in Intel in 1968 and other bets in companies like Apple and Fairchild Semiconductor turned him into a billionaire. The 82-year-old recently surfaced on the list of investors that entrusted their money with Bernard Madoff. Rock’s five trusts invested with Madoff, though its unclear whether that money is lost in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme or whether it instead went to the broker-dealer business.
Moritz, whose home-run investments as a partner at Sequoia Capital have included Google, PayPal and Yahoo, was ranked at No. 897 on the 2008 list with a fortune of $1.3 billion. His investment in Google especially catapulted his riches, giving him hundreds of millions of dollars in stock, some of which he has cashed in. That investment gave him a No. 1 listing in Forbes’ “Midas List” of the top dealmakers in the technology industry in 2006 and 2007, and a No. 2 ranking in 2008 and 2009. Interestingly, before Moritz was a venture capitalist and worked as a journalist, he famously profiled Rock in a Time magazine cover story in 1984.
Even with Rock’s and Moritz’s departures, the venture capital world still has a few familiar faces on Forbes’ billionaires list. Moritz’s rival, John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, weighs in at No. 601 with a fortune of $1.2 billion, down from $1.7 billion a year ago. Much of Doerr’s wealth is also attributed to Google since he co-invested with Moritz."