Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#298 David Sun $5.51B

Random fact: Lost all his savings in the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987.

Overview

Sun is co-founder and COO of Kingston Technology, the world's biggest independent maker of computer memory products. The Fountain Valley, California-based company has four manufacturing sites worldwide producing memory modules for servers, laptops and cameras, and had revenue of $6.6 billion in 2016.

As of July 23, 2017:
Last change No change
YTD change +$313M (+6.0%)
Industry Technology
Biggest asset Kingston Technology
Citizenship United States
Age 65
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

David Sun's net worth of $5.51B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

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

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Sun controls a 50 percent stake in Kingston Technology, the world's biggest independent maker of computer memory products, according to the company's website. The closely held company had revenue of $6.6 billion in 2016, according to a person familiar with the company.

Kingston is valued using the average enterprise value-to-sales multiple of two publicly traded peers: Transcend Information and Micron Technology.

Sun and Tu sold 80 percent of the business to Softbank for $1.5 billion in 1996. The proceeds are reduced by $400 million to account for a $100 million bonus the pair distributed to Kingston employees after the sale and $300 million they deducted from the price after agreeing to renegotiate the sale terms. The details, reported by Bloomberg News at the time, were confirmed by Tu in a 2013 interview with Fortune magazine. The billionaires bought back the stake from Softbank for $450 million two years later.

David Leong, a spokesman for Sun, declined to comment on the billionaire's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 10/12/1951
Family: Married, No children
Education: Bachelor's Degree, Tatung University

David Sun was born in Taiwan on Oct. 12, 1951, and began studying electrical engineering at the Ta-Tung Institute of Technology in 1973. He immigrated to the United States four years later and took a job at Alpha Micro Systems, an electronic component maker.

He met John Tu, a fellow Chinese immigrant, in Los Angeles. The pair bonded over a mutual love of basketball, according to an interview Tu gave to Fortune in December 2013, and decided to go into business together. They founded memory device maker Camintonn in 1982, and sold the company four years later to AST Research for $6 million. They lost all their savings in the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987, and created computer memory module maker Kingston Technology, where Sun remains chief operating officer.

Tu and Sun sold an 80 percent stake in the closely held company to Softbank for $1.4 billion in 1996, and distributed $100 million of the proceeds to their employees. They bought back Softbank's stake three years later amid shrinking demand for $450 million.

Sun is married with two children.

Milestones
  • 1951 David Sun is born in Taiwan.
  • 1982 Founds memory device maker Camintonn with John Tu in 1982.
  • 1986 Sells Camintonn to AST Research for $6 million.
  • 1987 Loses all his savings in the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987.
  • 1987 Founds computer memory maker Kingston Technology with John Tu.
  • 1996 Softbank buys 80 percent of Kingston for $1.5 billion.
  • 1999 Buys back Softbank's stake for $450 million with partner John Tu.
  • 2011 Kingston Technology reports record revenue of $6.5 billion.