Elon Reeve Musk is a visionary engineer and a technological entrepreneur who is best known as the CEO of electric car manufacturer Tesla, Inc (TSLA), and as the CEO and founder of aerospace manufacturer SpaceX. This post covers the success story of Elon Musk. Let’s cut to the chase.
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Early Life and Education
On June 28th, 1971, Elon Reeve Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, to Errol Musk (father) and Moye Musk (mother). Elon received a lot of support from his engineer father and dietitian mother in his active, early entrepreneurial interest. Elon got his first PC when he was just ten years old and quickly used it to learn how to code programs before building a video game and sold it for $500 at the age of 12.
After he graduated from Pretoria Boys High School, Elon Musk joined the University of Pretoria for 5 months before moving to Canada, where he entered Queens University in Ontario in the year 1889. His move to study in Canada helped him avoid South Africa’s mandatory military training.
Musk then proceeded to join Wharton School of Business at Pennsylvania University, to pursue bachelor’s in Economics. Later he joined Stanford University, where he applied for physics and material science only to drop out after two days to venture into a business career.
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Musk and his brother Kimbal teamed up in 1995 and came up with Zip2, a company that licensed online city guide software to the local and international newspapers. However, the company struggled in its first few years but gained momentum when the IT company started to offer additional services to customers. The year 1999 saw Zip2 acquired by Compaqs AltaVista web search for approximately $350 million.
Together with Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, Elon launched X.com, a financial service and an email payment company that would be accessed online. Later in 2000, American software company Confinity, known for creating PayPal, merged with X.com. Shortly after that, Musk was appointed as the new Paypal CEO just before eBay acquired the company for $1.5 billion. He became a shareholder with roughly $180 million shares and felt he had enough capital to channel his focus on his Engineering concerns.
Tesla and Beyond
Elon Musk joined hands with co-engineers Marc Terpenning and Martin Eberhard to run Tesla Motors in 2004. He was in charge of the integral designing of cars and designed the first electric car known as Tesla Roadster. Following a series of disagreements, Elon seized the management control as the CEO after the ousting of Martin Eberhard in 2007. Using his space travel company (SpaceX), he managed to get several high paying contracts with the United States Air Force and NASA to design rockets for military missions.
Net Worth and Current Influence
As of 2020, most of Elon’s net worth is $40.4 billion, which is tied up with Tesla stock, where he owns more than $35 million shares. In 2019, $11.6 billion Tesla announced that Musk was not going to get his annual salary but would instead get rewarded according to the company’s market value. This was a goal the company had set, aiming to assure customers and shareholders that Musk would dedicate his long term future.