Elon Musk is a South African-born American industrial engineer, entrepreneur, who co-founded Paypal and founded aerospace transportation services company SpaceX. He is also one of the early investors in Tesla, an electric car company, and now the Chief Executive Officer of the firm as well. With a $70.5 bn fortune, Musk sits comfortably at the 7th spot in the world's top 10 billionaires list.
Born in 1971, Elon Musk displayed an early talent in computers and video games and at the age of 12 created a video game code that earned him fame, as well as a fortune. He acquired a Canadian passport to avoid supporting apartheid in Africa at the time and also due to greater economic opportunities in the United States.
Paypal and SpaceX
Musk has created several successful firms since he left Stanford University in 1997. That year, he created the first company - Zip2. The firm, which provided maps and business directories to online newspapers, was bought by Compaq in 1999. Then he created X.com which eventually merged with PayPal, which went public in 2001, and in 2002 eBay bought the firm for $1.5 bn. Musk in 2002, formed SpaceX and since then the aerospace firm has covered several milestones over the years. SpaceX became the first company to successfully relaunch and land at the first stage of an orbital rocket in late 2017. In 2020, SpaceX made history on May 30, after it flew NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, to space aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft using a Falcon 9 rocket.
In 2004, Musk invested heavily in Tesla, an electric car company as he believed electric vehicles to be the future of mobility. Two years after introducing the first car, Tesla, in 2008, introduced the Model S sedan, which was praised by automotive critics for its performance and design. The company eventually made him a billionaire at the age of 40 in 2012. Musk, as the CEO of Tesla, landed himself in several controversies which resulted in stocks tanking by a huge margin. In 2018, Musk ran into trouble after his tweet falsely claimed that he had secured funding and was considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share. It resulted in both him and Tesla paying a $20 million fine and Musk agreeing to step down as chairman of Tesla's board. However, despite controversies, Tesla stocks have continued to grow adding to his wealth