Jack Ma, originally Ma Yun, (born September 10, 1964, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China), Chinese entrepreneur who was head of the Alibaba Group, which comprised several of China’s most popular Web sites, including the business-to-business marketplace Alibaba.com and the shopping site Taobao.com. Ma failed the entrance exam for the Hangzhou Teachers College twice. (His weak point was mathematics.) He was admitted on the third try, in 1984, and he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1988. From 1988 to 1993 he taught English at the Hangzhou Institute of Electronics and Engineering (now Hangzhou Dianzi University). In 1994 he founded his first company, the Haibo Translation Agency, which provided English translation and interpretation. He founded China Pages, which created Web sites for Chinese businesses and was one of China’s first Internet companies. From 1998 to 1999 Ma was head of an Internet company in Beijing that was backed by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. He felt, however, that if he remained with the government, he would miss out on the economic opportunities that the Internet was bringing. Ma persuaded his team at the ministry to go back to Hangzhou with him and found the Alibaba Group, which launched a Web site that facilitated deals between small businesses. Ma was convinced that the small-business-to-small-business Internet market had much greater potential for growth than the business-to-consumer Internet market had. Small businesses paid a membership fee to be certified as trustworthy sellers on Alibaba, with a greater fee being charged to businesses that wished to sell to customers outside China. In order to instill confidence in online sales, Alipay was created (2003) to act as a third party in transactions. Growth of Alibaba was rapid. In 2005 it attracted the attention of the American Internet portal Yahoo!, which bought a 40 percent stake, and in 2007 Alibaba.com raised $1.7 billion dollars. Steve Jobs, in full Steven Paul Jobs, (born February 24, 1955, San Francisco, California, U.S.—died October 5, 2011, Palo Alto, California), cofounder of Apple Computer, Inc. (now Apple Inc.), and a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer era. Founding of Apple Jobs was raised by adoptive parents in Cupertino, California, located in what is now known as Silicon Valley. Though he was interested in engineering, his passions of youth varied. He dropped out of Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, took a job at Atari Corporation as a video game designer in early 1974, and saved enough money for a pilgrimage to India to experience Buddhism. Apple I Back in Silicon Valley in the autumn of 1974, Jobs reconnected with Stephen Wozniak, a former high school friend who was working for the Hewlett-Packard Company. When Wozniak told Jobs of his progress in designing his own computer logic board, Jobs suggested that they go into business together, which they did after Hewlett-Packard formally turned down Wozniak’s design in 1976. The Apple I, as they called the logic board, was built in the Jobses’ family garage with money they obtained by selling Jobs’s Volkswagen minibus and Wozniak’s programmable calculator. Jobs was one of the first entrepreneurs to understand that the personal computer would appeal to a broad audience, at least if it did not appear to belong in a junior high school science fair. With Jobs’s encouragement, Wozniak designed an improved model, the Apple II, complete with a keyboard, and they arranged to have a sleek, molded plastic case manufactured to enclose the unit. Bill Gates From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigationJump to search This article is about the co-founder of Microsoft. For other people of the same name, see Bill Gates (disambiguation). William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, software developer, investor, author, and philanthropist. He is a co-founder of Microsoft, along with his late childhood friend Paul Allen. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), president and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. He was a major entrepreneur of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. Gates was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. In 1975, he and Allen founded Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It became the world's largest personal computer software company.[a] Gates led the company as chairman and CEO until stepping down as CEO in January 2000, succeeded by Steve Ballmer, but he remained chairman of the board of directors and became chief software architect. During the late 1990s, he was criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anticompetitive. This opinion has been upheld by numerous court rulings. In June 2008, Gates transitioned to a part-time role at Microsoft and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the private charitable foundation he and his then-wife, Melinda Gates, established in 2000. He stepped down as chairman of the board of Microsoft in February 2014 and assumed a new post as technology adviser to support the newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella. In March 2020, Gates left his board positions at Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to focus on his philanthropic efforts on climate change, global health and development, and education. Since 1987, Gates has been included in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people. From 1995 to 2017, he held the Forbes title of the richest person in the world every year except from 2010 to 2013. In October 2017, he was surpassed by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who had an estimated net worth of US$90.6 billion compared to Gates's net worth of US$89.9 billion at the time. As of September 2022, Gates had an estimated net worth of US$114 billion, making him the fifth-richest person in the world.