Nvidia’s stock-price surge means CEO Jensen Huang is richer than Nike founder Phil Knight and hedge-fund legend Ken Griffin

  • The rise of AI has powered Nvidia’s shares to triple-digit gains this year.
  • Founder and CEO Jensen Huang’s wealth has soared nearly $30 billion as a result.
  • Huang is now the world’s 27th-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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Amid the great 2023 artificial intelligence investing craze, no company has seen its stock price surge more than Nvidia –  and that’s made the chipmaker’s CEO Jensen Huang really, really rich.

The Taiwan-born 60-year old – who cofounded the semiconductor giant over a meal at Denny’s 30 years ago – has seen his net worth balloon from $13.8 billion to $43.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The main driver of those gains has been his 3.6% stake in Nvidia, which rode the wave of interest in AI to become a trillion-dollar company – and one of the “Magnificent Seven” group of Big Tech stocks.

Shares have climbed nearly 250% this year, with investors flocking to the stock based on its dominance of the market for graphics processing units (GPUs) that power AI products like ChatGPT.

Nvidia’s massive gains have made it the best performing S&P 500 stock of 2023, comfortably outperforming fellow mega-caps Meta Platforms and Tesla despite those two companies having strong years of their own.

And while Huang might not be quite as wealthy or well-known as Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk just yet, he’s shot up the list of the world’s wealthiest people – and sat in 27th place on Bloomberg’s 500-person rich list, at Thursday’s closing bell.

That means his fortune now exceeds those of Nike founder Phil Knight, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, and Blackstone supremo Stephen Schwarzman.

Huang was born in Taiwan in 1963 and spent his early childhood both there and in Thailand. His parents sent him to live with relatives in the US in 1973.

Like Knight, he went to high school in Oregon, eventually becoming a nationally-ranked junior table tennis champion.

Huang founded Nvidia with his friends Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem in an East San Jose Denny’s in 1993 and has been the company’s CEO ever since.

He’ll turn 60 this year, making him years older than fellow tech billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos when they left day-to-day operations at 52 and 57, respectively. But there’s little evidence to suggest he’ll be stepping away from Nvidia anytime soon.

“Nothing is more fun to me than to build a once-in-a-generation company with all of my friends here,” Huang told Business Insider in April 2021 . “I can’t imagine wanting to do anything other than that.”

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George Glover