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Elon Musk

Position: CEO at Tesla, SpaceX

Industry: Tech, Space

Citizenship: South Africa, America, and Canada

Date of birth: 06.28.1971

Elon Musk career

1983 — Musk first demonstrated his talents as an entrepreneur. At the age of 12 he sold his first space-themed video game to a PC magazine.

1995 — Musk co-founded X.com, an online financial services provider and email payment firm, which later merged with money-transfer service, PayPal. Some of the decisions taken by Musk at the time led to PayPal's later success, such as promoting online money transfers on web auctions including eBay. In 2002, Musk, who still remained on the company’s board, received $165 million following PayPal's acquisition by eBay.

2002 — Musk launched his most ambitious project, SpaceX. The entrepreneur, inspired by one of the main messages of science fiction, decided to develop spaceships that would enable humanity to conquer space. Since its first significant advance in 2008, when the world’s first privately developed launch system Falcon 1 reached orbit, the company has significantly improved its space technology. For instance, SpaceX managed to reuse the first stage of its medium lift launch vehicle, Falcon 9, by landing it on earth and sea platforms after the launch.

2008 — Musk joined Tesla, Inc., an electric car manufacturer from California. Despite the overwhelming popularity of the company and some of its models, such as the Tesla Roadster, Musk’s service at the company has visibly affected his reputation. In 2018, after his controversial tweet about the possibility of making Tesla private, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fined Musk and Tesla $20 million each and forced him to resign as a chairman while remaining Tesla's CEO. However, Musk later claimed he never regretted that tweet.

2016 — The entrepreneur founded The Boring Company, the tunnel-digging startup founded in 2016 to eliminate the traffic, and a neurotechnology firm Neuralink. Most recently, the latter announced it was ready to install first brain-reading chips to a human patient by 2020.

Interesting facts

  • At Tesla, Musk has had a $1 salary since 2014, the same as Steve Jobs and other major CEOs. The rest of his compensation is formed by performance-based bonuses.

  • Musk’s net worth is over $22.3 billion, as of July 2019. The entrepreneur was listed by Forbes as the 40th-richest person on the planet.

  • Marvel’s Tony Stark, as played by Robert John Downey Jr., is rumoured to be inspired by Elon Musk. He even had a cameo in Iron Man 2.

Musk, in turn, seems to be a massive fan of Marvel. He once admitted he named his son Xavier in honour of Professor Xavier from X-Men.

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