Elon Musk is a business magnate and investor. He is the founder, CEO, and chief engineer of SpaceX; angel investor, CEO, and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI; president of the Musk Foundation; and owner and CEO of Twitter, Inc.
With an estimated net worth of around $181 billion as of November 2022. Musk is the wealthiest person in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and Forbes’s real-time billionaire list.
Musk, his brother Kimbal, and Greg Kouri established Zip2 in 1995. They received $28,000 in support from Errol Musk. An online city guide with maps, directions and yellow pages was created by the firm and distributed to newspapers. Musk worked every night on the website’s code in a modest, leased office in Palo Alto. The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune eventually signed partnerships with Zip2. The brothers convinced the board of directors to forgo a merger with CitySearch, but Musk’s bid to take over as CEO was rejected. In February 1999, Compaq purchased Zip2 for $307 million in cash, and Musk got $22 million for his 7% ownership.
Musk later co-founded the Internet financial services and email payment business X.com in 1999. Over 200,000 members joined X.com, one of the first federally insured online banks, following the company’s first few months of existence. Even though Musk created the business, investors thought he lacked expertise and before the end of the year, Bill Harris, the CEO of Intuit, had taken over.
In 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock, of which Musk—the largest shareholder with 11.72% of shares—received $175.8 million. In 2017, more than one and a half decades later, Musk purchased the X.com domain from PayPal for its sentimental value. In 2022, Musk discussed a goal of creating “X, the everything app”.
Early in 2001, Musk got associated with the organization Mars Society and spoke about funding strategies for putting a plant-growing chamber on Mars. Along with Jim Cantrell and Adeo Ressi, he went to Moscow in October of that year to purchase reconditioned intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could launch the greenhouse payloads into orbit. Although he met with NPO Lavochkin and Kosmotras, Musk was viewed as a beginner, and the delegation left for the United States with nothing. The team went back to Russia in February 2002 together with Mike Griffin, president of In-Q-Tel, to search for three ICBMs. In a subsequent meeting with Kosmotras, they were presented with an $8 million bid for one rocket, which Musk turned down. Instead, he decided to start a business that would produce inexpensive rockets. Musk launched SpaceX in May 2002 with $100 million of his own money and rose to the positions of CEO and Chief Engineer.
The Starlink constellation of low-Earth-orbit satellites to provide satellite Internet connectivity was initially developed by SpaceX in 2015, and the first two prototype satellites were launched in February 2018. In May 2019, the first 60 operational satellites were launched, serving as a second set of test satellites and the constellation’s first significant large-scale deployment. According to SpaceX, the design, construction, and deployment of the constellation will cost a total of around $10 billion. Starlink is being criticized for obstructing the sky and endangering spacecraft collisions, according to some opponents, including the International Astronomical Union.
Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded Tesla, Inc.—originally Tesla Motors—in 2003, providing capital up to the Series A round of investment. Before Musk’s engagement, both men actively participated in the company’s early development. Musk oversaw the Series A round of financing in February 2004; he contributed $6.5 million, becoming the company’s majority owner, and was elected chairman of the board. Despite not being heavily involved in day-to-day commercial operations, Musk played an active role inside the firm and oversaw the creation of the Roadster product.
The SEC sued Musk in 2018 after Musk claimed in a tweet that money had been secured for possibly taking Tesla private. The complaint aimed to prevent Musk from holding the position of CEO of publicly listed firms, claiming that the tweet was inaccurate, deceptive, and harmful to investors. Without confirming or rejecting the SEC’s accusations, Musk settled with the agency two days later. Musk was compelled to resign for three years as chairman of Tesla but was permitted to continue as CEO, and Musk and Tesla were both fined $20 million as a consequence. In interviews, Musk has said he doesn’t regret sending the tweet that set off the SEC probe.
Musk began buying Twitter stock in January 2022 and increased his ownership to 5% in March and 9% in April, becoming the company’s largest stakeholder. In contravention of American securities rules, he failed to submit the required SEC paperwork within 10 days of his ownership crossing 5%. On April 4, when he did make his investment publicly known in an SEC 13G filing, the Twitter stock had its biggest intraday price increase since its 2013 initial public offering. The information that Musk had purchased a sizeable stake in Twitter came to light as a result of Musk’s tweets from March, in which he questioned Twitter’s commitment to free speech and suggested launching a competing social media platform, even though the remarks were made after he had purchased 7.5% of Twitter’s stock.