Top founders can often come to represent their companies — Elon Musk, for instance, is synonymous with Tesla, and Amazon figurehead is very much Jeff Bezos. But as years go by, thanks to repeated fund raises, these founders don’t hold as much economic sway over their companies as they used to. Here’s how much these founders still own in the companies they started.
Current stock holding 16%
Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world, thanks mainly to his stock holding in Amazon. But he doesn’t own as much of Amazon stock as he used to — Bezos now holds approximately 16% of Amazon stock, down from nearly 25% in 2007. Bezos has been selling his stock to fund his other interests — he uses his stock sales to fund his space company Blue Origins, and also plans to start spending more money on philanthropic activities.
Current stock holding: 20%
Musk is very much the man-in-charge at Tesla — he leads all of Tesla’s public announcements, and uses his Twitter feed to send the public updates about what the company is doing. In spite of his major role at Tesla, Musk now holds only 20% of Tesla stock.
Current stock holding: 3%
Reed Hastings founded Netflix all the way back in 1997. The company initially mailed DVDs to customers, but moved to a streaming model when broadband internet became mainstream. Today Netflix is among the biggest streaming services in the world, and Reed Hastings owns 3% of its stock.
Current stock holding: 21%
Softbank is currently the biggest investor in the Indian startup ecosystem — it has billions invested into Flipkart, Paytm, Snapdeal, and Ola. Its founder, Masayoshi Son, currently owns 21% of the company, and also leads its $100 billion Vision Fund, through which it invests in global companies like Uber.
Current stock holding: 11%
The Google founders no longer directly control the company — they’d handed over the reins to Sundar Pichai, who’s the current CEO — but they still hold considerable clout over Alphabet. Brin and Page together hold around 11% of Google shares, but their control over the company is much greater. Given Google’s dual class of stocks, Brin and Page control 51% of the voting shares at Google, meaning they still retain control over the company’s major decisions.
Current stock holding: 7%
Alibaba is hot on the heels of Amazon in a race towards becoming the most valuable company in the world. Founder Jack Ma’s 7% share in the company makes him worth nearly $40 billion. Alibaba cofounder Joseph Tsai holds another 2.5%
Current stock holding: 7%
Tencent recently made headlines when it surpassed Facebook in total market capitalization. The Chinese company, which runs the enormously popular WeChat platform, is now worth over $500 billion. Tencent has also made inroads into India, and is an investor in Flipkart. Its founder, Pony Ma, now holds 7% of the shares in the company, down from 13% in 2007.
Current stock holding: 14%
The founder of the world’s most popular social network now controls 14% of its shares, but like Google, Mark Zuckerberg has greater control over the total voting rights than his 14% stake would suggest. Zuckerberg has 51% of the voting shares in Facebook, allowing him to have the final say in the company’s major decisions. Over the last few years, Zuckerberg has been selling his shares in Facebook to fund his charitable interests, most prominently the Chan-Zuckerberg foundation.
Reproduced with permission.