SAS co-founder ranks 35th in Forbes' 400 richest Americans list

Posted September 23, 2010

— Jim Goodnight, the multi-billionaire co-founder of SAS, rebuilt a bit of his net worth over the past year despite the continuing global economic slowdown.

So, too, did Charlotte resident and former University of North Carolina System President C.D. Spangler, 78. Meanwhile, John Sall, 62, who co-founded SAS along with Goognight, preserved his wealth after losing nearly a quarter of his holdings last year.

So says Forbes magazine in its latest “Forbes 400” list of America’s richest people.

Goodnight, 67, shares the 35th spot on the Forbes list with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg at $6.9 billion. Zuckerberg is the world’s youngest billionaire at age 26.

The Forbes data says Goodnight’s net worth improved $100 million from a year ago.

Still, he slipped two spots from 33rd on last year's list.

Goodnight's fortune also is down $1.8 billion from the $8.7 billion Forbes reported for the Cary resident and North Carolina State University graduate in 2007 and 2008 before the recession took hold.

Sall, meanwhile, ranks 90th at $3.4 billion. That’s the same totals Forbes reported for 2009. He rose a spot from a year ago.

In 2007 and 2008, Sall’s net worth was $4.4 billion, according to Forbes.

Spangler, meanwhile, ranks 238th at $1.7 billion. The Charlotte resident was worth $1.65 billion in 2009, according to Forbes. He dropped from 212th in 2009.

In 2007, Spangler’s net worth peaked at $2.9 billion before dropping to $2 billion in 2008.


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  • ncguy Sep 24, 2010

    I think that his loss is from the umstead hotel.

  • hedgy_one Sep 23, 2010

    I wouldn't mind being ANYWHERE on that list...... just a dream for me, however!

  • soyousay Sep 23, 2010

    u.. appears there are some SAS workers posting in here.

    good for them then, great job, humane benefits

  • davidgnews Sep 23, 2010

    Kudos as always to Jim Goodnight. I wouldn't want to work on his farm, but he's one of the few CEOs that's in touch with his employees. Too bad most of corporate Amerika doesn't get it.

  • umop apisdn Sep 23, 2010

    It appears there are some SAS workers posting in here.

  • soyousay Sep 23, 2010

    Zippy...You should be ashamed (or democrats and liberals because all I read is gimme, gimme, gimme).

    actually flippy is one of yours

  • dogluvr26 Sep 23, 2010

    It's always nice to see people who take a chance really turn it into something successful--but even greater to see when it happens to good people who innately care about others. I, for one, think the Goodnights are great people & for all of their sacrifices, hard work and charitable nature, they deserve whatever monetary success comes their way. (And for those who say that they "need" to give to this cause or to that cause--as if wealthy people are somehow indebted to everyone else--I'd first suggest you examine how you'd feel if someone told you where you needed to put your money, regardless of how much it may be. You'd probably tell them to mind their own business. As they should.)

  • babedan Sep 23, 2010

    flip, do you teach your children, if you have any, to stand on the street corner crying because someone has more than they do? I saw someone else complain saying he got that way because he stepped on others. Well, from what I have seen and heard, the employees at SAS are some of the most satisfied employees in the country and also well compensated for the job they do. Mr. Goodnight has provided a lot to his employees. But then again, there are those who don't believe someone else should have more than they do. But there not enterprising enough, smart enough or ambious enough to go out on their own, take the risk and become successful. They just wait with there hand out and vote for those who promise to give them the other mans money. Oh, BTW, do the hand outs our Government gives you make you rich? Didn't think so. False Promises again.

    Congrats Mr. Goodnight, may you succeed 100 times over what you have now.

  • mep Sep 23, 2010

    These folks better hold on to their wallets... Obama and his gang are coming after it.

  • kikinc Sep 23, 2010

    cantstandgoloanymore- you're right. Seems that people have become complacent with mediocrity. Whatever happened to working hard and making a life for yourself? I guess that's not trendy anymore.