She may not be a household name, but Austin billionaire tech entrepreneur Thai Lee is wealthier than Oprah Winfrey, earning her a spot among the 10 wealthiest women in the U.S.
Forbes places Lee at No. 8 on its new list of America's Richest Self-Made Women, with a net worth estimated at $3.2 billion. Forbes estimates Winfrey's net worth at $2.6 billion, which puts her in ninth place.
Lee, a native of Taiwan, holds an MBA from Harvard University. She is founder, president, and CEO of SHI International Corp., a provider of IT products and services with a projected revenue of $11 billion in 2020. SHI is based in Somerset, New Jersey, but Austin is home to SHI’s corporate call center.
In all, four female entrepreneurs from Austin appear in the ranking. Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of social media company Bumble, is worth an estimated $575 million, earning her the No. 39 spot. If recent reports are true, Herd could hit billionaire status if Bumble goes public.
Lisa Su ranks No. 44. The native of Taiwan is president and CEO of Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor company AMD. Forbes pegs Su’s net worth at $530 million. She lives in Austin, where AMD employs about 2,300 people.
Entrepreneur and professor Kendra Scott comes in at No. 47. Forbes says she has amassed a net worth of $510 million as founder, chairwoman, and CEO of Kendra Scott LLC, which designs and sells jewelry.
The four Austin women join four other Texans, all from Dallas-Fort Worth, in the elite club of America’s richest self-made women:
- Robyn Jones, No. 16. Her net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion. Jones is founder of Westlake-based Goosehead Insurance Agency LLC, which has more than 1,100 franchised offices.
- April Anthony, No. 29. Forbes puts her net worth at $700 million. She is CEO of the Dallas-based home health and hospice division of Encompass Health Corp.
- Kathleen Hildreth, No. 59. Her net worth is estimated at $370 million. Hildreth is co-founder of M1 Support Services LP, an aviation logistics company based in Denton.
- Suzy Batiz, No. 84. Forbes estimates her net worth at $215 million. Batiz is founder of the Addison-based maker of the Poo-Pourri bathroom spray.
Topping the Forbes list, released October 13, is Diane Hendricks. She is co-founder and chairwoman of Beloit, Wisconsin-based roofing, siding, and window distributor ABC Supply Co Inc. Her estimated net worth: $8 billion.