Trade Desk CEO is region’s richest, at $4.4B
The 2021 edition of the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans has just one person whose primary residence is in the tri-county region: Jeff Green, the CEO and co-founder of The Trade Desk in Ventura, with a net worth of $4.4 billion.
Green is No. 253 on the Forbes list, which was released Oct. 5. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos topped the list for the fourth year in a row, this time becoming the first person Forbes has ever listed at more than $200 billion in net worth.
Ty Warner, the Beanie Babies creator and owner of Santa Barbara-area properties including the Four Seasons Biltmore, San Ysidro Ranch and Montecito Country Club, was just behind Green at No. 261, with an estimated net worth of $4.3 billion. Warner, though, lives primarily in Illinois, according to Forbes.
Oprah Winfrey, whose Montecito home has been her primary residence in recent years, dropped off the Forbes list this year, which means her net worth was estimated at less than $2.9 billion.
Forbes based its rankings on estimated net worth as of Sept. 3, and Green’s wealth has shrunk in the month since then, due to a slight drop in The Trade Desk’s share price. As of Oct. 7, Forbes estimated his net worth at $4.1 billion.
But the larger trend at The Trade Desk — and for Green’s net worth — has been overwhelmingly positive. Shares in the online advertising company have nearly quadrupled in value since March 2020, adding billions to Green’s stake in the company. With a market capitalization of nearly $34 billion, The Trade Desk is now the second largest publicly traded company in the tri-county region, after the Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology giant Amgen.
The pandemic and its attendant shifts in consumer behavior have presented an opportunity for The Trade Desk. One of the company’s biggest growth areas is advertising on “connected TV,” or streaming services, and that growth accelerated in 2020 and 2021 as people stayed home and consumed more media. The company also rolled out a new advertising platform in 2021 that one executive called “our biggest release ever.”
In the first quarter of 2021, The Trade Desk had $280 million in revenue, more than double its total from a year earlier. Net income was $47.7 million, or 10 cents per share, almost double the company’s earnings from the same quarter a year earlier.
Green, 44, has been The Trade Desk’s CEO since he helped start the company in 2009. By then, he had already founded one online advertising company and sold it to Microsoft.
The Trade Desk started in an incubator owned by the city of Ventura, a space it quickly outgrew. It went public in 2016, in an IPO that immediately catapulted it into the ranks of billion-dollar-valuation companies.
Its headquarters is now split among several buildings in downtown Ventura, with additional offices all over the world and more than 1,500 total employees. The company is renovating a building at the corner of Main and California streets and plans to consolidate its Ventura offices there.
Green lives in the Newbury Park area of Thousand Oaks, according to Forbes.
The magazine gives each billionaire on its list a philanthropy score on a 1-5 scale, and Green received a 1, the lowest score. That means he’s given away less than 1% of his wealth to charitable causes.
That’s not unusual for such a young billionaire. Only eight people scored a 5 from Forbes, meaning they’ve given away at least 20% of their wealth, and seven of them are in their 80s or 90s, including Warren Buffett and George Soros, both 91.
Green’s most high-profile donation so far has been $500,000 to CSU Channel Islands, directed toward scholarships and peer mentors for first-generation college students.