Co-founder, Yahoo Inc.
NET WORTH $905 million
ADDRESS 3420 Central Expressway; Santa Clara, Calif.
BIO Yang became a billionaire briefly this year at the age of 29 when Yahoo closed at 174. The Stanford graduate is still many tax brackets away from where he started in 1993, when he and pal David Filo compiled Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web. Since then Yang has become the face of the search engine with the human touch, and Yahoo has become the doorway to the Internet. More people (30 million monthly) visit the Yahoo site than any other location on the Web. The company has distinguished itself from a pack of faster--some say better--competitors by being somehow cooler. And Yang's likable image deserves a lot of the credit.
1998 POWER PLAY If Yang has his way, you won't just search and split anymore. Yahoo Clubs, introduced in August, are designed to engender loyalty in the search engine's users. Modeled on an idea that Geocities spawned and everyone else on the Web is embracing, the topic-specific Web communities hold real advertising potential. It's a crowded market, but Yahoo has already proved that it doesn't mind crowds.
PLACE YOUR BETS As this company evolves to take advantage of its remarkable reach, it will benefit from a great brand name in a burgeoning market. And it is already profitable. With the stock's price back in reasonable territory, analysts call Yahoo a strong buy.