Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 486 David Cheriton $5.41B

Random fact: Wrote Google $100,000 check in 1998.


Cheriton is a co-founder of Arista Networks, a maker of cloud networking systems for data centers. The Santa Clara, California-based was founded in 2004 and had revenue of $2.9 billion in 2021. The billionaire was an early Google investor, and a co-founder of network-switch maker Granite and server-designer Kealia.

As of :
Last change -$26.6M ( -0.5%)
YTD change +$180M ( +3.4%)
Biggest asset Cash
Country / Region Canada
Age 71
Industry Technology
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

David Cheriton's net worth of $5.41B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Cheriton's fortune is derived from proceeds associated with an early investment in Google. Proceeds from the sale of this stake are based on information disclosed in the 2004 prospectus for the internet search company's initial public offering. His shareholding hasn't been disclosed since then and it's calculated that he'd completely sold down his stake by the start of 2019, in line with his selling rate during the IPO.

He also holds a 3.9% stake in Arista Networks, a publicly traded cloud networking company that had revenue of $2.9 billion in 2021. The billionaire holds his Arista shares through the 2010 David R Cheriton Irrevocable Trust, according to a February 2022 filing.

Proceeds from the sale of Arista shares and those calculated Google sales and from Cheriton's other ventures, including network-switch maker Granite, which was sold to Cisco for $220 million in 1996 and server-designer Kealia -- bought by Sun Microsystems for $90 million in 2004 -- have been derived from reported sale prices and share sales. They are included in the value of his cash investments, which is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, asset sales, taxes, market performance and charitable donations.

Cheriton declined to comment on his net worth.


Family: Divorced, 4 children

David Cheriton was born in Vancouver in March 1951. He transferred from the University of Alberta as a mathematics student -- after applying unsuccessfully to the music department -- to study at the University of British Columbia in 1971. He received a master's degree and a PhD in computer science from Canada's University of Waterloo seven years later. He became an assistant professor at UBC for three years before moving to Stanford in 1982.

At Stanford he met Andy Von Bechtolsheim and together they founded Granite Systems in 1996, which they sold a year later to Cisco Systems for $200 million. Stanford PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin approached the pair for business advice in 1998. Both Cheriton and Bechtolsheim invested $100,000 in the idea, Google, before the company had been incorporated.

The duo established server maker Kealia in 2001, which Sun Microsystems bought in 2004. Four years later they founded cloud networking firm Arista, and the company began trading on the NYSE in 2014. Optumsoft, a cloud software developer founded by Cheriton, said prior to the listing that it would sue Arista because of an intellectual property dispute.

In 2014, Cheriton co-founded Apstra, which specializes in the management of multiple networks by clients and network administrators. Apstra was acquired by publicly traded Juniper Networks for an undisclosed amount in January 2021, at which point Cheriton joined the acquiring firm as chief data center scientist.

  • 1978 Receives PhD in computer science from University of Waterloo.
  • 1995 Establishes network-switch maker Granite with Bechtolsheim.
  • 1996 Cisco Systems purchases Arista Networks.
  • 2001 Donates $7.5 to the University of British Columbia.
  • 2014 Invests in Google after meeting founders Brin and Page.
  • 2014 Steps down from the board of Arista.
  • 2014 Arista starts trading on the NYSE and rises 28 percent on the first day.
  • 2014 Sues Arista over intellectual property disagreement.