‘Well, I’ve got to die somewhere, and where better than Mars? Be pretty cool!’ – Elon Musk
Many hear PayPal and don’t know the brains behind it. Here’s a CEO who dreams of having a concert for wolves, landing a rocket and many other seemingly insane dreams. He’s young, he’s African and he’s doing us proud. Elon Musk!
He comes in at No. 34 on Forbes list of Top 400 CEO’s and has a net worth of USD $13.2billion . Forty- Four (44) Year Old, Elon Reeve Musk is a South-African born Canadian-American business magnate, inventor, engineer, investor, husband and father. He is currently the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and Product architect behind Tesla Motors and SolarCity chairman.
‘I didn’t expect SpaceX or Tesla to be successful. I thought they’d most likely fail.’ says Elon on his SpaceX/ Tesla story ‘No! But I had to try. Someone did.’
When he was 10, he discovered computing with the Commodore VIC-20 and taught himself programming. At 12 he sold codes he created for a video game called Blastar to a magazine called PC and Office Technology for approximately US$500.
In 1999, he sold PayPal to eBay and could have retired after netting close to USD$ 180 million from that sale. Instead of retiring like or setting up a venture capital fund most young men at the age of 32 would have done, he set up a Private Space Company, SpaceX, in 2002 and a year later he set up Tesla Motors to produce all-electric production cars something mainstream manufacturers had tried to do and failed miserably.
He refused to stop there and he’s also chairman of the board and largest shareholder at the solar energy developers SolarCity, and recently made world news by publishing design studies for a solar-powered ‘Hyperloop’ rapid transit system, capable of reaching Birmingham from London in eight minutes (take that, HS2).
Elon met his current wife Talulah Riley, a British Actress, in a London nightclub and proposed six weeks later. At 23, she found herself living in a 20,000sq ft Bel Air mansion, part-guardian to five boisterous children and their disintegrating father, with an angry ex-wife in the background. None of this looks like fun, and there was little surprise when he and Riley parted a few years later (though they are now back together). Musk leads a life as colorful as the comic books he might have sprung from.
Some call him the Real life Iron Man, as its easy for one to see him as the the model for Tony Stark, the genius engineer played by Robert Downey Jr in the Iron Man movies. If he succeeds with even half his plans, he will have made a more profound impact on the world than any living politician: if he doesn’t, such high-visibility failures could set his chosen causes back decades.
He has so many awards in the field of science as a politician and a philanthropist.