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August 9, 2012 9:20 am

Forbes Israel: The Millionaire IDF Units

avatar by Atara Arbesfeld

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Insignia of Shayetet 13 (S'13), the IDF Naval Commando unit. Photo: The Epopt.

The latest issue of “Forbes Israel” includes a list of Israeli millionaires graded by their ranking in elite IDF units. Along with pilots, captains and specialized fighters, many graduates of the 8200 intelligence unit occupy the list, including the number one spot, held by Check Point Software founder Gil Shwed, whose fortune is estimated at 1.9 billion dollars. His partner in founding the company, Shlomo Kramer is ranked fourth on the list with a net worth of 500 million dollars. Two other IDF intelligence unit graduates also made it to the top ten.

Four of the first 10 are graduates of the Israeli Air Force. Former fighter pilot Kobi Richter, founder of the Medinol medical accessories company, took second place with an estimated worth of 1.25 billion dollars. Not far behind him on the list was graduate of the ‘Shayetet 13’ naval commando unit Chaim Tzof, whose fortune is estimated at 250 million dollars.

Col. (res.) Gadi Amir, who previously served as chief psychologist of the IDF, does not see the success of these millionaires emerging from the army’s ranks as random.

“The ‘unit 8200’ graduates are brilliant entrepreneurs. They have organizational skills but low leadership ability,” explained Amir. “That is why they exit at the very point a start up needs to be established. They are very good development and innovation, but are weak at overseeing the overall system. That’s why they rush to sell their development as soon as possible.”

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