Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 486 David Filo $5.28B

Random fact: Lived on $19,000 PhD grant while developing Internet business.


Filo co-founded Yahoo in 1994, which sold its search engine and other internet services to Verizon for $4.5 billion in 2017. He also owned a stake in Altaba, the investment company created from Yahoo that owned shares in online marketplace Alibaba Group. Altaba delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market in October 2019.

As of :
Last change +$25.0M ( +0.5%)
YTD change -$225M ( -4.1%)
Biggest asset Cash
Country / Region United States
Age 56
Industry Technology
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

David Filo's net worth of $5.28B 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:

Filo's fortune is derived from his stakes in investment company Altaba and Yahoo. He's sold $3.5 billion of stock since 2000 and collected $1.6 billion of dividends, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Yahoo sold its main internet properties to Verizon for $4.5 billion in June 2017. It renamed itself Altaba and Filo stepped down from the board in June 2017, according to the company. He's calculated to have sold his remaining stake after Altaba delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market in October 2019.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of these share sales, dividends, taxes, market performance and charitable contributions.

E-mails to Altaba's press office requesting comment weren't returned.


Birthdate: 4/15/1966
Family: Married, 1 child
Education: Tulane University, Stanford University, The Leland Stanford Junior University

David Filo was born in 1966 and grew up in Moss Bluff, Louisiana. The son of an architect and an accountant, he was the second-youngest child out of six siblings. Filo studied at Tulane University and graduated with a degree in computer engineering in 1988. He attended Stanford University in California where he got a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1990. He met future business partner Jerry Yang there while pursuing a doctorate.

The pair became bored with their PhD classes and became drawn to the nascent Internet community. Working out of a trailer at the university, they created a small index of web addresses to remember sites they found interesting. The first version of the list was called "Jerry and Dave's Guide to the World Wide Web," which debuted in 1994. The list was hosted on Stanford's servers and began crashing the system as more and more students began using it. They moved the guide off campus and incorporated Yahoo in March 1995. A year later, after leaving Stanford, Yahoo sold shares in a public offering.

As "Chief Yahoos," Filo and Yang expanded the business into an online portal providing access to the World Wide Web. Yahoo Japan was established in 1996 after SoftBank, led by billionaire Masayoshi Son, became Yahoo's largest shareholder. The business became one of the most successful Internet startups during the 1990s dotcom boom. Pressured by the 2000 crash in technology stocks and a loss of strategic focus, Yahoo's market value dropped from more than $100 billion at the end of 1999 to less than $10 billion at the end of 2002.

Filo and Yang negotiated a $1 billion deal to acquire a minority share in Hangzhou, China-based e-commerce company Alibaba in 2005. Alibaba held a public offering in September 2014, the largest in history, in which Yahoo collected almost $6 billion, according to a Bloomberg News report on Oct. 20, 2014.

After refusing to sell the company to Microsoft, Yang left his position of CEO in 2008. Filo stayed. Yahoo bought microblogging site Tumblr in May 2013 and announced that it would shut down its search directory by the end of 2014. Looking for a turnaround, the company hired former Google executive Marissa Mayer as President and CEO in 2012. Yahoo sold its search engine and other internet properties to Verizon for $4.5 billion in June 2017. The remaining company, which had a 15% stake in Alibaba, was renamed Altaba in June 2017, when Filo stepped down from the board.

  • 1966 David Filo is born in Moss Bluff, Louisiana.
  • 1990 Meets Jerry Yang while pursuing a PhD at Stanford University.
  • 1994 Creates "Jerry and Dave's Guide to the World Wide Web."
  • 1995 Co-founds Yahoo with Jerry Yang.
  • 1996 Japan's SoftBank becomes Yahoo's largest shareholder.
  • 2005 Negotiates a $1 billion deal to buy stake in Alibaba.
  • 2016 Verizon agrees to buy Yahoo's web businesses for $5 billion.
  • 2017 Company renamed Altaba. Filo leaves the board.