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In May 2011, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg bought a $7 million home in Palo Alto, Calif. He doesn’t move in for a few months, so the address remains a closely guarded secret until the current occupants move out. However, a few details have emerged -- the 5,000-square-foot home has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and a pool. It’s not quite on the same level as Bill Gates’ 50,050-square-foot Washington mansion (pictured, left), but it’s not a bad start for a man whose last few homes were rentals.
Zuckerberg’s new home is beyond the reach of the average person’s checkbook. However, it’s downright modest by the standards of some powerful American CEOs. Some of the biggest names in executive leadership live in extravagant mansions with 25 bathrooms, four-story guest homes and sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean, all visible from a garden dotted with flora grown by celebrity botanist David Bellamy.
Click ahead to see the homes of CEOs in sectors such as technology, energy, fashion and more.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 13 June 2011
Price: $50 million
Location: Montecito, Calif.
Beds/Baths: 6 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms
Square feet: 23,000
Media titan Oprah Winfrey purchased her home in Montecito, Calif., in 2001. She has dubbed the mansion “The Promised Land,” and, though accounts vary, the consensus is that she paid between $50 million and $55 million, then spent additional millions renovating it. The estate has both mountain and ocean views, 10 fireplaces and the landscaping features a rose hybrid specially bred over five years by her landscaper.
The property also includes a teahouse. The structure originally was meant to serve as a cutting room for her landscaper, but according to Oprah.com, she fell in love with the building and claimed it for herself, then turned it into a tranquil refuge where she goes to get some much-needed peace and quiet. "It's my dream, having a place like this," she said. "Some people ask, 'Why do you need more space?' And I tell them, 'I need it to restore myself.'"
Price: $23.5 million
Location: Holmby Hills, Los Angeles
Beds/Baths: 7 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms
Square feet: 17,171
When Michael Jackson died in June 2009, he was renting a 7-bedroom mansion for $100,000 a month. His landlord was Hubert Guez, better known as the CEO of the Ed Hardy brand, and even though Jackson was a mere tenant and not the homeowner, he was truly renting in style.
The mansion is located in Holmby Hills, an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood. It was built in 2002 and modeled after a French chateau. Guez bought it in 2004 for $18.5 million, and he originally listed it for $38 million. Despite the swimming pool, wine cellar, guest house and 12 working fireplaces, Guez simply couldn’t get a buyer at that price, and it was lowered to $28 million, and then $23.5 million. The listing remains active today.
2010 Tax Assessor’s Value: $18.5 million
Location: Austin, Texas
Beds/Baths: 8 bedrooms, 8 full bathrooms, 13 half bathrooms
Square feet: 33,000
Michael Dell is the CEO of his namesake company, Dell, Inc. The second-largest PC manufacturer in the world, it sits at number 41 on the Fortune 500 list, and according to The Austin American-Statesman, almost half of the revenue taken in by the city of Round Rock, Texas, comes from sales taxes generated by the company’s headquarters, which are located there.
Dell lives in a residence befitting a man who has brought so much revenue to his state. Built in 1997 at the height of the tech boom, his 33,000-square-foot Austin mansion is located on 20 acres of land, and in addition to its 8 bedrooms and 8 full bathrooms, it has 13 half bathrooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a conference room.
Estimated Price: $2.6 million
Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Beds/Baths: 7 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 1 half bathroom
Square feet: 5,678
Like many tech giants, Apple CEO Steve Jobs lives in Northern California. When he’s not dreaming up the next generation of technological marvels, he relaxes in the 5,678-square-foot Palo Alto mansion that he calls home. Built in 1920, the single-family property is located on over half an acre of land, and has 7 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and one half bathroom.
Jobs was once the owner of a 17,000-square-foot mansion in Woodside, Calif. It was designed by architect George Washington Smith and built in 1925 for mining pioneer Daniel Jackling. In 2004, Jobs tried to have it demolished to make space for a new, contemporary home. After a dispute with local preservationists, the house was torn down in February 2011.
Estimated Price: $122.4 million
Location: Medina, Wash.
Beds/Baths: 8 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms
Square feet: 50,050
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the richest man in America. He used to be the company’s CEO, but in 2000 he stepped down and handed the executive reins to Steve Ballmer. Don’t worry, though, Gates is still the software giant's chairman. He's also currently CEO of Cascade Investment, a holding company whose interests include Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola and Microsoft.
Gates’ 50,050 square foot estate in Medina, Wash., has 8 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms and 6 kitchens. It also has a 1,000-square-foot dining room, a swimming pool that pipes in underwater music, and a domed library with concealed bookcases, according to Forbes magazine.
Price: $8.5 million
Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
Beds/Baths: 8 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms
Square feet : 36,720
Scott Boruff is the CEO of Miller Energy Resources, a Tennessee oil and gas company. In 2009, his life was turned upside down when his wife Shannon lost a six year battle with cancer. Looking to start over, he sold their Gettysvue home and bought Villa Collina, an 8-bedroom mansion in Knoxville that he and his wife used to drive past while it was under construction.
The house overlooks Fort Loudon Lake and has both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. It offers views of the Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee River, features a 2,600-square-foot wine cellar, a 3-level library and a 7-car garage. It was originally listed at $21 million, making the final $8.5 million price a particularly sweet deal.
Estimated Value: $6.4 million
Location: San Francisco
Beds/Baths: 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms
Square feet: 10,742
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison owns 6 residences, including one in San Francisco that he bought in 1988 for $3.9 million. In addition to 5 bedrooms and more than 10,000 square feet of living space, the home offers a breathtaking view of the San Francisco Bay, making Ellison’s living room an ideal place to watch the America’s Cup yachting race in 2013.
Unfortunately, his modest dream of having a front-row seat in his own home is threatened by his next-door neighbors, whose trees have grown high enough to obstruct his previously unobstructed view. Ellison brought a lawsuit against them, which began on June 6, 2011.
Estimated Price: $2.4 million
Location: San Francisco
Beds/Baths: 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 1 half bathroom
Square feet: 3,001
Evan Williams is the founder and former CEO of Twitter, a social networking site that currently boasts well over 100 million users. He lives in the heart of San Francisco.
Williams recently relocated from a penthouse in the SoMa district to a property in the upscale Noe Valley neighborhood. The area is noted for its modern Victorian architecture, of which Williams’ home is a good example. The home, which Williams purchased for $2.4 million, occupies just over 3,000 square feet, and includes a yard and a guest house.
Price: $19 million
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
Beds/Baths: 10 bedrooms, 15 full and 5 half bathrooms
Square feet: 30,717 square feet
Danny Spence is the CEO of Procorp Associates, a management-consulting firm serving the energy, financial and manufacturing sectors, as well as such clients as Coca-Cola, Frito Lay and Motorola. He lives in The Woodlands, Texas, in a house called DanMar Manor, named after his wife Marian and him. The mansion currently is for sale, with a sticker price of $19 million.
The 10-bedroom gated mansion sits on more than four acres of land situated in the Carlton Woods neighborhood, a planned community opened inside The Woodlands in 2001. It features such amenities as a wrought iron elevator, a home theater, a swimming pool and a 6-car garage.
Price: $7 million
Location: Atherton, Calif.
Beds/Baths: 6 bedroom, 7 bathrooms, 1 half bathroom
Square feet: 6,280
Leo Apotheker was hired to lead Hewlett-Packard in September 2010, following the controversial departure of former CEO Mark Hurd. The company offered him a $4.6 million bonus to help him relocate from his native Germany to California, and he put the money toward a $7 million home in Atherton, Calif.
Atherton has seen more than 100 home sales in the past year, with a median price over $3 million, which puts Apotheker’s estate at the high end of the price spectrum. The 6,280-square-foot mansion features a pool, a library and a game room.