Billionaires club includes two current and one former Research in Motion executive

Research in Motion Inc.'s co-chief executive officers, plus co-founder Douglas Fregin, made Forbes magazine's billionaire's list.

The American magazine this week published a list of the world's nearly thousand billionaires, with Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates taking second place.

Jim Balsillie, who joined RIM in 1992 and is now co-CEO, was listed has having $2.3 billion. Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, who founded the Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry manufacturer in 1984, is the poorer of the pair, with only $2.2 billion to his name. We presume those figures are in U.S. funds, but if they were in Canadian dollars, Balsillie and Lazaridis would probably still be reasonably well off.
Lazaridis would be richer if he hadn’t donated $170 million to the Perimeter Institute, a theoretical physics centre he founded in Waterloo in 1999.

Using pricing information from the Internet auto guide, Network World Canada calculated Balsillie can afford 6,000 Lamborghini 2010 Murcielago LP640 Roadsters, though it’s not clear whether they would all fit in his driveway.

Balsillie was tied in 421st place with other tycoons such as Wallace McCain, vice-chairman of his family's frozen food business and father of Maple Leaf foods CEO Michael McCain.

Fregin, who co-founded RIM and retired in 2007, has $1 billion.

Other notable technology names on the list include Google Inc. co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who each have $17.5 billion.

Due to high apartment rent rates in the city of Toronto and other factors, no one from Network World Canada’s editorial staff made Forbes' list this year.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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