$2.4 billion +145%Last Year:
Rolling HillsSource of Wealth:
The Money: Net worth increased thanks to big gains in sales at memory manufacturer Kingston Technology Co. The company Tu founded, sold and bought back reported 2006 revenues of more than $3.8 billion, nearly double its 2004 number.
Buzz: Kingston has more than 3,300 employees and sells more than 2,000 types of memory. Chinese-born Tu founded Kingston with partner David Sun in 1987. The next year the company patented single in-line memory modules, now the industry-standard SIMM used in computers, printers, MP3 players, digital cameras and cell phones. The pair sold 80 percent of Kingston to Japan's Softbank for $1.5 billion in 1996; Tu made news sharing $100 million with employees. The partners bought the company back in 1999 for $450 million after it faltered under foreign ownership. In January 2007, Tu and Sun took home the first Distinguished Alumni Goldhirsh Award from Inc. magazine for their "embodiment of the American entrepreneurial spirit." Values privacy. Lives in gated, discreet Palos Verdes Peninsula community.
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