The Billionaire Behind Nvidia Gets $6.5 Billion Richer In A Day As Shares Soar Amid An AI Chip Boom

Founder and CEO Jensen Huang more than doubled his multibillion-dollar fortune this year thanks to artificial intelligence.

It was a stellar day for graphics chipmaker Nvidia, with shares surging 24% to a record high thanks to a quarterly earnings report that blew away analysts and huge demand for the chips that will power the AI ​​revolution.

No one is benefiting more than Jensen Huang, Nvidia’s billionaire founder and CEO, who added $6.5 billion to his fortune on Thursday alone, according to Forbes‘ estimates.

Huang, who owns about 3% of Nvidia’s stock, had a net worth of approximately $27.5 billion when the market closed on Wednesday. Next, Nvidia released its first-quarter earnings report, estimating sales of $11 billion for the second quarter — 50% more than analysts had predicted — and reporting earnings per share of $1.09, $0.17 higher than forecast. “The computing industry is going through two simultaneous transitions – accelerated computing and generative artificial intelligence,” Huang said in a press release. Nvidia’s chips are well-prepared for both and Huang said the company is “significantly increasing” its offerings to meet “growing demand.”

That helped fuel a rally for shares of both Nvidia and other AI-related companies such as Advanced Micro Devices and After a day of bullish trading, Huang’s fortune now stands at an estimated $34 billion, up more than 23% in 24 hours and enough to make him the 37th richest person in the world. Forbes‘ ranking in real time.

“Nvidia’s results and guidance leave us with our hands down as technology leadership in AI monetizes and appears to be breaking through any lingering bear thesis concerns for now,” Cowen analysts led by Matthew Ramsay he wrote on Thursday.

It’s been a long journey for Huang. Born in Taiwan, he moved to Thailand as a child before his parents sent him and his brother to the US at the age of 9 amid civil unrest in the Asian nation. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science and chip design from Oregon State University and his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1992. After watching cartoon PC games, he and co-founders Chris Malachowsky (currently Nvidia’s senior technology officer) and Curtis Priem (who retired in 2003) founded to Nvidia in 1993, spying on the market for improved gaming graphics. Huang, who has been CEO since the beginning and who has the Nvidia logo tattooed on his upper left bicep, took the business public on the Nasdaq in 1999.

“In 1993 there was no market, but we saw a wave coming,” Malachowsky said Forbes 2016. “There’s a surfing competition in California that takes place every year within five months. When they see some kind of wave phenomenon or storm in Japan, they tell all the surfers to show up in California, because there’s going to be a wave in two days. It’s whatever. We were at the beginning.”

Despite early struggles, Nvidia dominated the emerging market for graphics processing units, or GPUs, which allow machines to produce detailed and clean images at ultra-fast speeds. Technology has ignited the PC gaming market into the massive industry it has become. Today, GPUs help power gaming consoles, autonomous vehicles and robotics for more than 35,000 Nvidia customers that include Google, Mercedes-Benz, Amazon and Meta.

“The more content, the more visual interest there can be, the more processing horsepower people need,” Huang said Forbes in 2007

Nvidia’s technology has become key in AI-driven companies; AI-generating chips are essential for new services like ChatGPT or Google’s Bard. These high-powered chips have more processing power than most on the market, making them capable of processing larger and more complex data inputs.

“We are seeing incredible orders for retrofitting the world’s data centers. And so I think you’re seeing the beginning of, call it, a 10-year transition in basically recycling or reclaiming the world’s data centers and building as accelerated computing,” Huang said on Wednesday’s earnings call. “You’re going to have a pretty dramatic shift in data center spending from traditional computing and compute acceleration with SmartNICs, smart switches, of course GPUs and the workload will be predominantly generative AI.”

That’s helped push Nvidia’s stock higher than ever before — helping Jensen, already a multibillionaire, more than double his net worth this year, jumping from an estimated fortune of $13.8 billion at the start of 2023 to $34 billion as of Thursday. Nvidia, which now boasts a market capitalization of $950 billion, is on the verge of becoming only the sixth company to reach the $1 trillion mark, an elite club of only Apple, Microsoft, Saudi Aramco, Google parent Alphabet and Amazon.

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