Recently, Time Magazine recognized Elon Musk as one of the 100 most influential people in the world — an honor that is deserving of Mr. Musk for all that he has done to help solve environmental, social, and economic challenges.
Elon Musk is an engineer and entrepreneur who holds a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a business degree from Wharton.
Musk got his start when he co-founded Zip2, an Internet software company that he sold to Compaq in 1999 for over $300 million. Soon after, he co-founded and formed PayPal, which was purchased by eBay in 2002 for an astounding $1.5 Billion.
But he didn’t stop there. He has since gone on to create SpaceX and Tesla Motors, and he helped co-found SolarCity, all of which have seen success under his leadership.
Musk is CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX, the company he founded in 2002 to build the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft — with the ultimate goal of extending human life to other planets. (Watch this TED Talk for a fascinating intro on SpaceX, as well as some discussion of Tesla Motors and SolarCity.)
As CEO and head of product design at Tesla Motors, Musk oversees strategy for the all-electric American car company he co-founded to design, engineer, and manufacture affordable electric vehicles for mainstream consumers. Tesla is currently on step 2 of 3 towards reaching that goal.
As chairman of SolarCity, Musk provides strategic direction for the company he conceived to help combat global warming and minimize air pollution. SolarCity is a national leader in clean energy services (e.g. solar leasing).
Musk also created and is chairman of the Musk Foundation. The foundation focuses on aerospace, clean energy, science education, and pediatric health.
In the Time Magazine article there’s this statement from Richard Branson:
His Tesla Motors and SolarCity companies are making a clean, renewable-energy future a reality. It’s a paradox that Elon is working to improve our planet at the same time he’s building spacecraft to help us leave it.
Tesla just recently announced that it had its first-ever profitable quarter. Musk announced that Tesla would pay back its $465 Million loan from the US Department of Energy in five years, or half the time previously projected. And the Tesla Model S was the best-selling electric vehicle in the US market in Q1 2013.
Elon Musk is deserving of this honor and has been very humble about his success. His actions definitely speak louder than words.
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