They’re big names in the tech world. You’ll probably recognise at least some of them, even if you aren’t involved in the high tech or financial sectors.

Others you’ll know, literally, by the companies they keep…

Rachel King of the Silicon Valley Insider, who keeps track of these things, has tabulated the Biggest Tech Losers of this past, tumultuous economic year.

The biggest of the Big Tech Losers were in the online service industry. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry page lost a combined total of over (US)$12 billion this past year. Other social networking losers included Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (down (US)$3 billion) and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (down (US)$3.6 billion).

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates managed to lose a cool (US)$3.5 billion just sitting in retirement, spending more time with his family and concentrating on the work of his charitable foundation. But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer lost over (US)$5 billion running the company’s shares down to their lowest price in years.

And, perhaps most ignominiously…

Former Yahoo! CEO and co-founder Jerry Yang had a particularly hard year. Not only did his company’s shares lose enough value to reduce his fortune by a cool (US)$800 million, but he lost his job, as well. Yahoo! has been in dire financial straits for at least the past year and ended 2008 inviting larger tech industry survivors — notably Microsoft — to acquire it.

But don’t feel too badly for these financially-embarrassed industry icons. As far as the mighty have fallen, they’re all still billonnaires, some of them many times over.

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