Five Tech Company Founders Who Came to the U.S. as Immigrants


May 17, 2017


Jerry Yang, Yahoo

Born in Taiwan in 1968, Yang came to the U.S. at age 12. He co-founded Yahoo!, one of the most successful early Internet indexes, in 1994

Pierre Omidyar, eBay

Omidyar was born in Paris in 1967 to Iranian parents, and moved to the U.S. with his family when he was a child. He created the first version of what became the online auction site eBay in 1995.

Sergey Brin, Google

Born in the Soviet Union, Brin immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was six years old. He co-founded Google with Larry Page in 1998.

Elon Musk, PayPal/Tesla/SpaceX

Born in South Africa, Musk moved to Canada for university when he was 17, His company X.com merged with another early company to form PayPal in 1998. After PayPal was bought by eBay, Musk founded space exploration company SpaceX in 2002 and electric carmaker Tesla a year later.

Peter Thiel, PayPal/Palantir

Born in Germany, Thiel moved to the U.S. with his family when he was an infant. He co-founded the payments company PayPal in 1999 and became an influential investor after the sale of PayPal to eBay. He founded data analysis company Palantir in 2003.

Jan Koum, WhatsApp

Born in Ukraine in 1976, Koum moved to Mountain View, Calif. in 1992. He co-founded the messaging service WhatsApp in 2009 and sold it to Facebook five years later for $19 billion.


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