Meet Jensen Huang, the 'Steve Jobs of AI': The Nvidia CEO has a net worth of US$73 billion, and went from washing dishes at Denny's to making cheesesteaks with Meta's Mark Zuckerberg.

Nvidia's head is Jensen Huang, an immigrant from Taiwan and Thailand who used to wash dishes at the American diner Denny's, but now cooks cheesesteaks with it. Meta Boss Mark Zuckerberg. Meet Huang, 61, the man who has made an incredible rise to become one of the world's richest people.

How did Nvidia's Jensen Huang get rich?

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang at the 2024 World Governments Summit. Photo: Reuters
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Huang is a co-founder of Nvidia and currently owns about 3 percent of the company, which went public in 1999, according to Forbes. Huang has been credited with Nvidia's impressive rise. It became a leader in computer gaming chips, eventually entering the market for chips for data centers and autonomous cars.

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According to Forbes, his net worth at the time of writing is estimated at US$72.7 billion. His bank account has been skyrocketing since 2017, with his total wealth increasing almost thirty times since then.

Why is Jensen Huang called the “Steve Jobs of AI”?

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang in 2023. Photo: EPA
Although he is often associated with To Elon Musk Because Tesla has spent so much money on Nvidia AI training chips, it has been called the “Steve Jobs of AI” as a result of its spectacular success and signature look. Like Jobs, Huang favors the same outfit, always wearing a black leather jacket, according to Bloomberg. The Wall Street Journal added that he doesn't wear a watch because “now” is the most important time.

According to Business Today, Jensen's friendship with Zuckerberg has also strengthened his standing in the tech world. The publication described how Jensen invites Zuckerberg to cook. “'Let's make cheesesteaks,' and I'm like, 'Hell yeah, let's make cheesesteaks,'” Zuckerberg was quoted as saying.

Jensen Hwang's “Star Trek” office

Nvidia headquarters in Santa Clara, California in May 2022. Photo: Reuters

Business Insider reported that Nvidia has a “no barriers no limits” approach. Its Santa Clara headquarters, named Voyager after the Star Trek star ship, opened in 2022 and was designed to reflect the ethos. The office has parks and treehouses for staff gatherings and geographical nicknames for different areas in the office. The space is supposed to echo the organization's “flat” management style and, according to the New York Post, Huang has been spotted having lunch with fellow staffers in the cafeteria.

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What is Jensen Huang's background?

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang (center left) poses for pictures before attending a press conference at Computex 2023 in Taipei in May 2023. Photo: AFP

According to Forbes, Huang was born in Taiwan and moved to Thailand as a child. He was born Jen-Hysen, which was later anglicized to Jensen, according to Bloomberg. Huang and his brother were later deported to the United States when Huang was nine years old and could not speak English.

Fortune reports that she at one point worked as a dishwasher at Denny's. Business Insider reports that Huang credits his relentless work ethic to spending time washing dishes and cleaning toilets.

Indeed, the restaurant chain also marks a turning point in Huang's later tech career: He discussed business ideas with two colleagues at a branch in North Carolina in 1993. Huang was working as an engineer at the time, while Chris Malachowski and Curtis Prime planned to leave Sun Microsystems for a new business venture, per Fortune.

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How does Jensen Huang spend his fortune?

Jensen Huang speaks at the Computex Forum in May 2023 in Taipei, Taiwan. Photo: Reuters
Huang lives in a US$44 million home in San Francisco's “billionaires' row,” according to British media. His neighbors are included. Larry Ellison of Oracle and investor David Sachs. The home is 11,400 square feet and has seven bedrooms. Huang also reportedly owns a house in Hawaii worth US$33 million and sold his US$9.9 million Los Altos home in 2022.

According to the New York Post, the Huang family also has a US$1 billion foundation. Forbes reports that he donated US$30 million to Stanford's engineering center and gave Oregon State University US$50 million for a research center.

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