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In brief: Nvidia's skyrocketing share price over the last 12 months has seen CEO Jensen Huang's net worth rise to around $44 billion, making him one of the top 30 richest people in the world. But according to a report, another of the company's co-founders would be worth around $70 billion if he'd held onto his stock. Instead, Team Green's first CTO lives an existence described as off the grid while writing manifestos aimed at solving the world's problems. He's still rich, just not billionaire-level rich. And also very generous.
Curtis Priem founded Nvidia alongside Huang and Chris Malachowsky on April 5, 1993. The former CTO was recently profiled by Forbes, and it's an interesting read. The inventor has almost 200 patents and helped design the "first graphics processor for the PC," the IBM Professional Graphics Adapter, in the 1980s.
Priem transferred most of his shares to a charitable foundation following Nvidia's 1999 IPO after deciding it was an "excessive amount of money" to hold onto, which is certainly a rare thing to hear. Forbes writes that he left the company a few years later partly due to a stormy first marriage that ended in divorce and domestic violence allegations against his ex-wife.
Priem sold the rest of his shares by 2006. They were worth between $3.50 and $6 that year; today, the price is $482. It's estimated that the Nvidia co-founder would be worth around $70 billion if he'd held onto his stock. But it doesn't sound as if he cares too much.
Priem is estimated to be worth around $30 million. That includes a $6 million home near Fremont, California, where he "lives off the grid with unreliable cell service and writes unpublished manifestos" on how to solve world problems like "repairing the earth." He also owns a Gulfstream G450 private jet, so "off the grid" might be a slightly misleading description.
An interesting part of Priem's story is his link to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He has donated $275 million, or 40% of its total gifts, to his alma mater since 2001. It could be even more as he's thought to be behind an anonymous donation of $360 million in 2001. He's also pledged to give approximately $80 million more.
Priem does admit that he wishes he kept a few Nvidia shares, which one suspects he'd use to donate even more money to RPI.
Nvidia announced revenue of $18.12 billion for the third quarter of its financial year, up 206% year-on-year. Net income was especially impressive: $9.24 billion in Q3, versus $680 million in the third quarter of 2022, marking a 1,259% rise.