Episode: 3

Premiered on: 16 February 2013 01:30 GMT

Emergent technologies in the form of the internet, global media and the next generation telecommunications industries have created a new breed of billionaire, with the likes of Bill Gates and Michael Dell appearing to be from a bygone era.

We profile some of the new digital rich, including the UK’s Simon Nixon, seeking out the upcoming stars and trends in the fields of e-commerce, information technology and mobile communications.

Facts and Figures

Technology and the new breed of millionaire

The number of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals who made their wealth from technology-based business

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Featured article


Emergent digital technologies have created a new breed of millionaire. The extraordinarily rapid rise of the digital world means that figures like Bill Gates (57) and Michael Dell (47) now look like the grey haired old men of the computer revolution.


Digital advertising revenues from the US alone soared to a landmark high of $31 billion”

The IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report
for the full-year 2011

According to Bloomberg’s Billionaire index, Carlos Slim, the telecommunications magnate who controls America Movil, the leading wireless services provider in Latin America, maintained his position as the richest person on Earth in 2012. Gates stepped down from day-to-day duties at Microsoft in July 2008 to focus on philanthropy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. But despite giving away $28 billion dollars through the foundation last year, the software mogul still ranked second on the list, with a net worth of $63.4 billion.

Nevertheless, these days, digital mega-wealth is more likely to come from the founders of internet platforms such as Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google or the UK’s Simon Nixon, co-founder of Moneysupermaket.com.

Where will it end? The IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for the full-year 2011 revealed that digital advertising revenues from the US alone soared to a landmark high of $31 billion. That figure was a record, beating the previous record of the year before. And with mobile search and advertising still in its infancy, the prospects for the online wealth look ever brighter.

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About the Programme

Changing Fortunes is a co-production by D&E and Films of Record for BBC World News. To film the series we visited the home cities and workplaces of the global wealthy, with interview locations across Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe.

The series director is the award winning filmmaker James Rogan. James’s credits include the six part documentary series Warship for Channel Five whilst his latest feature documentary Amnesty! When They Are All Free is his third for BBC Storyville. Changing Fortunes Executive Producers are Marc Heal for D&E, who originally conceived the series, and the award winning filmmaker and writer Roger Graef OBE, for Films of Record.

The series is broadcast on BBC World News at the following times:
Saturdays at 0130 and 1530 GMT
Sundays at 0930 and 2030 GMT

To find viewing times in your location please go to the BBC World News schedule page