So who are the “who’s who” or major players among the search engines? Who are the innovators and the self-made entrepreneurs that took a function like searching and made millions and in some cases billions of dollars from it? Let’s take a quick look at a few of them:

Larry Page: He and Sergey Brin are the founders of the Google search engine. This “who’s who” is also on the corporate board of directors of the company. The entire concept of the Google search engine started as Page’s research project after entering a Ph.D. program at Stanford University. The research project was named “Backrub” and set out to establish a relationship between the backlinks to a given web page and its importance leading to what we know today as PageRank. In 2006, he was listed in Forbes Magazine as a “who’s who” holding a net worth of $18.5 Billion which at the time made him number 26 of the world’s wealthiest people.

Dr. Eric Schmidt: He is also a “who’s who” on the corporate board of the Google search engine. He was hired in 2001 by Google and currently is the CEO of the search engine giant. Dr. Schmidt has become a billionaire through sales of Google stock as its prices soared. Dr. Schmidt is also on the corporate board of Apple which has created a favorable relationship between the search engine and the major computer and software manufacturer.

Sergey Brin: He is the second founder of Google and is one of the “who’s who” that is also on the Google search engine corporate board. Sergey is Russian-born from Moscow. He holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park, a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Stanford, and started Ph.D. studies at Stanford. Both Sergey and Larry Page held a common interest in the internet and the ability to mine huge amounts of data.

Jerry Yang: He is the founder of Yahoo. He currently serves as the corporate Chairman, CEO, and Chief of the Yahoo search engine. He is another extremely wealthy “who’s who” in search engines having a net worth of $2.3 billion in 2008. He was born in Taipei, Taiwan and immigrated to the United States with his mother at the age of 10. Together with David Filo, they created the original Yahoo then known as “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web.” They did this while studying at Stanford and in 1995 the two of them left their Ph.D. studies and incorporated as the Yahoo search engine.

David Filo: He is the other founder of Yahoo and is a “who’s who” listed with Forbes magazine as the #73 on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest people in 2005. He runs the technical operational functions and is co-chief with Jerry Yang. He is originally from Moss Bluff, Louisiana and holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Tulane University, a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and left his Ph.D. studies in electrical engineering at Stanford to start Yahoo.

Gary Flake: He is one of the “who’s who” with Microsoft and the Live search engine. He is a technical fellow at Microsoft and is responsible for Live Labs and the future of Microsoft in the area of search, desktop search, and commercial search engine technologies. Prior to coming on board at Microsoft, he founded Yahoo research labs. He also directed the corporate research and development initiatives at Yahoo.

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