Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# Bob Duggan

Random fact: Scientology's largest donor, according to former church officials.


Duggan is a value investor who acquires and sells companies in diverse sectors including robotic surgery and billboards. He sold drugmaker Pharmacyclics in 2015, realizing a personal gain of more than $3 billion after taxes. Duggan's the largest shareholder, in Pulse Biosciences, a medical device company.

As of Jan. 21, 2018:
Last change ()
YTD change ()
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Biggest asset N/A
Citizenship United States
Age 66
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Bob Duggan's net worth of 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
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Confidence rating:


Family: Married, 8 children
Education: University of California Los Angeles University of California Santa Barbara

Robert W. "Bob" Duggan has been investing since he was a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the mid-1960s. The Berkeley, California-born billionaire said in a 2010 address to UC Santa Barbara graduates that he made money in college by investing in ethernet companies. In 1976, he and then-brother-in-law Dan Patterson started Cookie Muncher's Paradise, a bakery they expanded to 16 locations as a gourmet sandwich chain called Paradise Bakery. They sold it in 1987 for about $6 million.

Duggan acquired in 1980 a majority stake in ethernet company Communication Machinery. He sold it in 1988 to Rockwell International for $40 million. From 1986 to 1994, Duggan was a board member -- including a stint as chairman -- of Government Technology Services, a large vendor to the federal government.

According to his biography on the website of UC Santa Barbara, where he is a trustee, Duggan became chairman and CEO of Computer Motion, a robotic surgery company, in 1990. Three years later, Computer Motion became the first company to have a robotic surgery system approved for use by the Food & Drug Administration, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2003, it was sold to Intuitive Surgical for $67 million in stock. Duggan later sold his stake for more than $150 million, according to regulatory filings.

In 2004, Duggan began amassing a stake in Pharmacyclics, becoming chairman and CEO in 2008. The company struck a $975 million deal in 2011 with a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson to fund drug development in exchange for a split of the profits of the drug ibutrinib, which treats certain lymphomas and multiple myeloma.

Duggan has been a big donor to the Church of Scientology, which he joined around 1979. According to a former Scientology official and Scientology researchers, Duggan has given more than $20 million to the organization. He also has given between $1 million and $5 million to UC Santa Barbara. Duggan confirmed the recipients of his giving in a January 2013 e-mail to Bloomberg News and wouldn't confirm the amounts.

He and his wife Patricia, called Trish, have eight children, one of whom is deceased.

  • 1966 Finishes courses at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • 1976 Co-founds Cookie Muncher's Paradise in Long Beach, California.
  • 1988 Sells Communication Machinery to Rockwell for $40 million.
  • 1990 Becomes chairman of Computer Motion. Appointed CEO in 1997.
  • 2003 Intuitive Surgical buys Computer Motion in an all-stock transaction.
  • 2006 Sells European billboard company MAG International to JCDecaux.
  • 2008 Becomes Pharmacyclics chairman after board shakeup.
  • 2015 Duggan makes $3.5 billion profit on his $42 million Pharmacyclics investment.