ELON MUSK is an engineer and entrepreneur who builds and operates companies to solve environmental, social and economic challenges. He co-founded PayPal and currently drives strategy, development and design at two companies he created, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Tesla Motors, and is chairman of SolarCity, which was co-founded by Lyndon and Peter Rive. He led SpaceX’s efforts to be the first private company to successfully launch and dock a spacecraft with the international space station
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. He designed Falcon 1, the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to reach Earth orbit, as well as the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft. SpaceX made history when its Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial vehicle in history to successfully attach to the International Space Station on May 25th, 2012.
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. He currently guides development of the Model S, the world’s first premium electric sedan, and Model X, an SUV/minivan.
As chairman of SolarCity, a national leader in clean energy services, Musk provides strategic direction for the company he conceived to help combat global warming and minimize air pollution.
In March 1999, he co-founded X.com, which pioneered online point-of-sale functionality for purchases and quickly became one of the Web’s leading financial institutions. In 2000, X.com bought Confinity, and formed PayPal, and successfully made it the leading global payment transfer provider. He served as PayPal’s chairman and chief product officer, and was its largest shareholder until eBay purchased PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion. Prior to PayPal, Musk co-founded Zip2, an Internet software company that he sold to Compaq in 1999 for over $300 million.
Musk’s achievements in business and technology have been widely recognized. Time Magazine included him on its 2010 TIME 100 list of 100 people who most affected the world. Esquire Magazine named him one its 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century, and Forbes Magazine named him one of America’s 20 Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under. Based on his work at SpaceX, Tesla Motors and Solar City, Research and Development Magazine named Musk its Innovator of the Year and Inc. Magazine named him its Entrepreneur of the Year.
Musk is a trustee of the X Prize Foundation, which promotes renewable energy technologies, and sits on the boards of The Space Foundation, The National Academies Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and The Planetary Society. He is also a member of the Stanford University Engineering Advisory Council.
He holds a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a business degree from Wharton.