Between 20 August and 21 August, shares of graphics processor maker NVIDIA rose by more than 8-10 per cent in aftermarket trading. This spike led to a tremendous surge in the net worth of Jensen Huang, the company’s co-founder, president and CEO.
NVIDIA is one of the world’s biggest makers of graphics processing units (GPUs), system-on-a-chip units (SoCs), and application programming interfaces (APIs) for data science as well as high-performance computing.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he has benefited tremendously from the artificial intelligence (AI) boom. His company’s shares rose after the tech giant’s earnings report revealed that the rise of generative AI has helped earn much higher revenue than expected for the chipmaker.
Generative AI is any popular AI system available today — chatbots such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google’s Bard and image generators such as Midjourney and DALL·E 2.
As his net worth rises, Jensen Huang is the focus of those who are eager to know about tech billionaires. Though not much is known about how he splurges his fortune, Huang, too, owns a palatial house like other tech billionaires such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. But his mansion is not just anywhere; it is in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, famously known as Billionaire’s Row.
NVIDIA revenue growing by leaps and bounds
On 23 August, NVIDIA published its financial results for the second quarter (fiscal 2024) ending 30 July 2023. According to it, NVIDIA earned a record revenue of USD 13.51 billion, which was up 88 per cent from Q1 and more than 101 per cent from a year ago.
The company also made a record Data Center revenue of USD 10.32 billion, up 141 per cent from Q1 and up 171 per cent from a year ago. Its net profit was USD 6.2 billion, 843 per cent higher than a year ago.
The company said that, during the second quarter, it returned USD 3.38 billion to shareholders in the form of 7.5 million shares repurchased for USD 3.28 billion and cash dividends. NVIDIA added that it expects revenue to touch USD 16 billion in the third quarter.
A snapshot of the net worth of NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang
The rise in the overall earnings of NVIDIA has instantly led to the ballooning of the net worth of Jensen Huang, who has a 3.5 per cent stake in the company he co-founded.
According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Huang’s total fortune is now around USD 46.1 billion — a rise of USD 4.2 billion overnight.
As of 25 August 2023, his net worth has settled at USD 42.2 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Forbes’ real-time billionaires index also estimates that Huang has a net worth of USD 42 billion. While he is ranked 28th richest person in the world on the former list, he is 27th on the latter.
What is even more remarkable is that Huang’s fortune has more than doubled in around 8-10 months because of NVIDIA’s increasingly leading position in the AI boom.
At the end of 2022, Huang’s net worth was around USD 15.3 billion. In May 2023, NVIDIA became the first-ever semiconductor company to reach USD 1 trillion in market valuation. Subsequently, a report in June said that Huang gained as much as USD 7 billion within a week due to a surge in his company’s stocks to reach a net worth of USD 35 billion.
If that is not astonishing enough, Jensen Huang’s net worth was less than USD 4 billion at the turn of 2020. He has seen his fortune rise by an average of USD 11 billion every year since, making him one of the richest self-made billionaires in the world in a really short period.
The surge in NVIDIA’s stocks has led to another round of billions of dollars contributing to his net worth. Reports suggest that the NVIDIA CEO can become one of the world’s 25 richest individuals if his company maintains the momentum.
It is also noteworthy that the largest part of his net worth comes from the shares he holds in his company. According to a May 2023 report by The Register, his base salary is just short of USD 1 million, and he received USD 693,710 in other compensation (security, life insurance, travel and more). He took home USD 21.3 million for fiscal 2023 ending on 29 January, which means that his earnings from stocks were around USD 19 million.
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How is NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang building his fortune?
According to TIME magazine, Jensen Huang took NVIDIA to its current heights, particularly with a crucial decision in 2003. At the time, he decided that NVIDIA chips should do more than just render high-end graphics for video games or other computing tasks.
This led to NVIDIA creating more powerful GPUs that could perform extremely complex tasks, especially those that required involvement with large neural networks — the foundation of AI.
NVIDIA is, thus, credited with propelling the AI revolution. Its dominance today is phenomenal. To put it simply, OpenAI reportedly used 10,000 NVIDIA GPUs to train ChatGPT. All generative AI models need tens of thousands of GPUs working together.
According to John Peddie Research, NVIDIA holds about 88 per cent of the GPU market. This shows why the company is earning revenue by tens of billions every year. Observers suggest that NVIDIA will not be toppled from its dominant position in powering AI for some time. It means that as the company continues to earn more revenue, Jensen Huang will also continue to climb the rankings on rich lists by adding billions to his net worth.
NVIDIA’s current market performance is primarily a result of the AI boom. This fact was acknowledged by Huang when the company announced its second-quarter earnings on 23 August.
“A new computing era has begun. Companies worldwide are transitioning from general-purpose to accelerated computing and generative AI,” Huang said, adding, “NVIDIA GPUs connected by our Mellanox networking and switch technologies and running our CUDA AI software stack make up the computing infrastructure of generative AI.”
“During the quarter, major cloud service providers announced massive NVIDIA H100 AI infrastructures. Leading enterprise IT systems and software providers announced partnerships to bring NVIDIA AI to every industry. The race is on to adopt generative AI,” Huang concluded.
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A look at Jensen Huang’s career before NVIDIA
Jensen Huang was born Jen-Hsun Huang in Tainan, Taiwan, on 17 February 1963. He was a young boy when he moved with his brother and parents to Thailand. The increasing risk of escalation in violence in the region because of the Vietnam War forced his parents to send him and his brother to the US.
He was nine years old when they arrived in Oneida, Kentucky. His relatives mistakenly sent him to a boarding school for troubled children in rural Kentucky, thinking it was a prep school. Here he had to clean the boy’s bathroom every day, and his brother had to work on the tobacco farm.
Eventually, the Huang family settled in Oregon. Jensen Huang completed the latter part of his schooling at Aloha High School and then enrolled in Oregon State University, from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree in 1984.
Years later, in 1992, he graduated from Stanford University with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE).
He started his career at Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., or AMD. The American multinational company is one of the world’s biggest semiconductor makers and the biggest rival of market leader Intel. Huang worked with AMD for a short while, between 1984 and 1985. He was tasked with designing and engineering microprocessors.
He then joined the semiconductor design and software engineering company, LSI Logic. At the time, it was only four years old but was already making waves. Huang worked at LSI Logic till 1993, rising through the ranks in the engineering division, marketing department and general management.
On 17 February 1993, which was his 30th birthday, Huang co-founded the NVIDIA Corporation with former Sun Microsystems employees Curtis Priem and Chris Malachowsky. The company was incorporated in Delaware and is based in Santa Clara, California.
Huang has been NVIDIA’s president and CEO since its inception. Priem was the Chief Technical Officer of the company from its founding till 2003 when he retired. Malachowsky is still with the company, serving as “a member of the executive staff and a senior technology executive for the company,” according to his official profile.
Other details about Jensen Huang
Jensen Huang has two children with his wife Lori. The family lives in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighbourhood, where they own a mansion worth USD 38 million in the area known as Billionaire’s Row — the place with the most expensive homes in Bay Area.
The mansion reportedly has around 8,409 square metres of living space. The house has seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms and is equipped with a gym, wine cellar and a home theatre. Its most unique feature is a rooftop deck with views of the city.
Huang is also a philanthropist. He has donated USD 30 million to Stanford University for an engineering centre and USD 5 million to Oregon Health & Science University for cancer research labs.
He is a recipient of the Robert N. Noyce Award, which is the Semiconductor Industry Association’s highest honour. He has also been awarded the IEEE Founder’s Medal, the Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award, and honorary doctorate degrees from Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University, National Taiwan University and his alma mater Oregon State University.
TIME magazine listed him among the 100 most influential people in 2021 and credited him once again when NVIDIA was listed among the 100 most influential companies of 2022.
(Hero and Featured images: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Scalable Grid Engine/CC0/Wikimedia Commons)
Frequently Asked Questions
– What is Jensen Huang’s net worth in 2023?
Jensen Huang’s net worth, as of 25 August 2023, is around USD 42 billion.
– What percentage of NVIDIA is owned by Jensen Huang?
Hwang has a 3.5 per cent stake in the company which he co-founded 30 years ago.
– How much does Jensen Huang earn annually?
Jensen Huang took home around USD 21 million for fiscal 2023 ending on 29 January, as per a report.