It’s not every day someone loses US$6 billion, so when Michael J. Saylor did just that in the 2000s at the height of the dotcom bubble, he definitely made a name for himself.
However, two decades later, the 57-year-old CEO and co-founder of enterprise software company MicroStrategy is on a roller coaster again. He did it by betting his company’s future on bitcoin – showing even more passion for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency than tech visionaries like Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey.
So who exactly is Saylor, what is his current net worth, and how exactly did he lose billions back then? Let’s take a quick dive into the crypto king’s distinctive past.
He had an atypical childhood
Born in 1965, in Nebraska, USA, Saylor’s childhood was far from average. He grew up in a military family and lived on various US Air Force bases around the world. Graduating as valedictorian in high school, the sky was the limit for the young man.
On a full Air Force scholarship, Saylor earned dual degrees in aeronautics and astronautics, and science, technology, and society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was also in college that he met his Theta Delta Chi fraternity brother and future MicroStrategy co-founder, Sanju K. Bansal.
He co-founded MicroStrategy at age 24
In 1989, at just 24 years old, Saylor co-founded MicroStrategy, a company that provides business intelligence, mobile software, and cloud-based services. Since he was unable to fulfill his original dream of becoming a pilot due to a diagnosis of a mild heart murmur, the tech genius focused on his passions for technology, business and using simulations. computers.
In addition to being a dot-com-era entrepreneur, Saylor became an author with his New York Times bestseller, The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything. He also founded the Saylor Foundation (now called Saylor Academy) to provide free online courses to those who cannot afford them. He could also party hard by throwing infamous themed yacht parties.
He became a multi-billionaire
In April 2022, Forbes estimated Saylor’s net worth at US$1.6 billion. That sounds pretty impressive for a tech executive, but during the dot-com boom of the 90s, when Saylor rose through the ranks, he reached a whopping net worth of US$7 billion. His multi-billionaire status, however, did not last long, as he had largely disappeared by the turn of the century.
He lost $6 billion in a single day
In early 2000, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued MicroStrategy’s CEO and two other executives for the company’s inaccurate reporting of financial results for the previous two years. They eventually settled with the SEC, but never admitted any wrongdoing.
Subsequently, Saylor lost his place in the 10-figure club after MicroStrategy revised its financial results and the dot-com bust subsequently sent the title plummeting.
It made a big comeback thanks to bitcoin
After 20 years, Saylor has put itself back on the map by embracing bitcoin. His belief in volatile digital currency is so strong that he converted almost all of MicroStrategy’s money into cryptocurrency and personally purchased 17,732 bitcoins for $175 million.
With bitcoin’s recent plunge, MicroStrategy lost $1 billion in investments while Saylor’s net worth reportedly dropped to around $500 million. Still, the bitcoin bull shows no sign of slowing its buying spree anytime soon.
“In #bitcoin We Trust,” the CEO of MicroStrategy and crypto king said in a June 13 tweet to his 1.5 million Twitter followers.
To note: This story originally appeared on SCMP and has been reposted on this website.