How Elon Musk Gets Rich
Elon Reeve Musk FRS (/ˈiːlɒn/ EE-lon; born June 28, 1971) is a business magnate, industrial designer, and engineer. He is the founder, CEO, CTO, and chief designer of SpaceX; early investor, CEO, and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink; and co-founder and initial co-chairman of OpenAI. A centibillionaire, Musk is one of the richest people in the world.
Musk was born to a Canadian mother and South African father and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. He briefly attended the University of Pretoria before moving to Canada aged 17 to attend Queen’s University. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania two years later, where he received dual bachelor’s degrees in economics and physics. He moved to California in 1995 to attend Stanford University but decided instead to pursue a business career, co-founding web software company Zip2 with his brother Kimbal. The start-up was acquired by Compaq for $307 million in 1999. Musk co-founded online bank X.com that same year, which merged with Confinity in 2000 to form the company PayPal and was subsequently bought by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002.
In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, of which he is CEO, CTO, and lead designer. In 2004, he joined electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors, Inc. (now Tesla, Inc.) as chairman and product architect, becoming its CEO in 2008. In 2006, he helped create SolarCity, a solar energy services company (now a subsidiary of Tesla). In 2015, he co-founded OpenAI, a nonprofit research company that promotes friendly artificial intelligence. In 2016, he co-founded Neuralink, a neurotechnology company focused on developing brain–machine interfaces, and founded The Boring Company, a tunnel construction company. Musk has also proposed the Hyperloop, a high-speed vactrain transportation system.
Musk has faced controversy due to his public statements and actions, including his use of Twitter and his erratic behavior on social media. He has also faced criticism for his leadership of Tesla and SpaceX, and for his controversial statements about the coronavirus pandemic.
- Elon Musk became a billionaire in 1999 at the age of 28, when he sold his software company, Zip2, to Compaq for $307 million. He used the proceeds from the sale to co-found X.com, an online payment company that eventually became PayPal and was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.
- Musk co-founded SpaceX in 2002, and the company has developed a successful line of rockets and spacecraft, including the Falcon 1, Falcon 9, and Falcon Heavy. It has also won contracts from NASA to transport cargo to the International Space Station, and it has plans to send humans to space in the near future.
- Musk also founded Tesla, Inc. in 2003 and served as CEO until 2008. Under his leadership, the company developed the Tesla Roadster, the first fully electric sports car, and later the Model S, Model X, and Model 3, all of which have been successful in the luxury electric vehicle market. In addition, Tesla has developed and manufactured solar panels, solar roof tiles, and energy storage systems.
- In recent years, Musk’s net worth has increased significantly, due in part to the success of SpaceX and Tesla. He is now one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth estimated at over $200 billion.