Elon is the CEO & Chief Technology Officer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) which is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of access to space ultimately by a factor of ten. The company officially began operations in June 2002 and is located in the heart of the aerospace industry in Southern California.
SpaceX is the third company founded by Mr. Musk. Prior to SpaceX, he co-founded PayPal, the world's leading electronic payment system, and served as the company's chairman and CEO. PayPal has over twenty million customers in 38 countries, processes several billion dollars per year and went public on the NASDAQ under PYPL in early 2002. Mr. Musk was the largest shareholder of PayPal until the company was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002.
Before PayPal, Mr. Musk co-founded Zip2 Corporation in 1995, a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the media industry, with investments from The New York Times Company, Knight-Ridder, MDV, Softbank and the Hearst Corporation. He served as Chairman, CEO and Chief Technology Officer and in March 1999 sold Zip2 to Compaq for $307 million in an all cash transaction.
Mr. Musk's early experience extends across a spectrum of advanced technology industries, from high energy density ultra-capacitors at Pinnacle Research to software development at Rocket Science and Microsoft. He has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a business degree from Wharton and originally came out to California to pursue graduate studies in high energy density capacitor physics & materials science at Stanford.