Elon Musk ranks among the richest people in the world. This is thanks to the success that he’s achieved with Tesla as well as the other companies that he owns.
Given Elon Musk’s success, not many people know about his brother. Who is Kimbal Musk? Musk’s brother is actually an investor in Tesla and Paypal with a net worth of nearly 1 billion. He is also an entrepreneur with his own chain of restaurants. It’s also worth noting that he’s currently under investigation by the SEC.
- Musk’s younger brother – Kimbal – is a professional chef with a passion for food justice. To this end, he’s launched a charity based on cryptocurrency. Its sole goal is to sponsor students into becoming farmers.
- Besides running his ventures in the food industry, he’s among the board of directors of SpaceX, Tesla, and Chipotle. He’s also a co-founder at PayPal.
In an interview with Time Magazine a year ago, Kimbal admitted that Musk is a savant in the business sphere. However, empathy is not among his gifts. Furthermore, he said that neither of them is obsessed with wealth. As such, he finds discussions about wealth accumulation boring. Even so, considering their combined net worth, it’s no wonder that the public has been speculating over their supposed obsession with wealth.
So who is Kimbal Musk?
Kimbal Musk was born on September 20th, 1972. He’s an entrepreneur, a chef, and a restaurateur from South Africa. He’s the owner of The Kitchen Restaurant Group – a chain of community restaurants that is headquartered in Indianapolis, Chicago, and Colorado. Have you heard of Big Green? Well, Kimbal is the chairman and co-founder of Big Green. Through this non-profit organization, Kimbal has managed to develop outdoor classrooms for various learning institutions across America.
Kimbal is also co-founder of The Square Roots – a company that deals with urban farming. It’s situated in Brooklyn New York City and it grows food with help of hydroponic technology. They run this company out of shipping containers and install indoor climate control systems. Kimbal is currently on the board of directors at SpaceX and Tesla Inc. As you probably know, both companies belong to his brother, Elon. At the moment, Elon is the CEO of these companies.
In addition, between 2013 and 2019, Kimbal was a board member of Chipotle Mexican Group. Kimbal is brother to Tosca Musk and Elon Musk and the son of Errol Musk and Maye Musk. Beyond all of this, he’s one of Tesla’s major shareholders. He co-founded Zip2 with Elon in 1995. Zip2 was later sold in 1999 to Compaq for $307 million.
Kimbal’s early life
He grew up among his siblings and cousins. His mother – Maye Musk – is a renowned dietitian, while his father – Errol Musk – is an engineer with his own private practice. Like Elon, Kimbal graduated from Pretoria High School. Thereafter, he left South Africa for Kingston Ontario, Canada, soon after Elon moved there. He took a degree in business at Queens University. While in this institution, Musk worked part-time at Scotiabank. And in 1995, he graduated with a business degree from Queen’s University.
His life as an entrepreneur
His first business was in 1994 with College Pro Painters. The same year, he co-founded Zip2 with Elon. This company was a virtual city guide for newspaper companies. After years of developing it and establishing it in the market, they sold it to Compaq for $307 million. With his money from Zip2, he invested in several software and technology startups. He was also among the first investors in Musk’s X.com venture. After merging with PayPal, this company was traded for $1.5 billion. eBay acquired it in 2002.
His passion for culinary arts
While Elon chose to remain in California, Kimbal chose to move to New York. In the city, he joined the French Culinary Institute where he would learn about cooking. In 2004, he launched The Kitchen with Hugo Matheson and Jen Lewin in Boulder, Colorado. The Kitchen would grow to become one of the major brands in the hospitality sector years later. According to Food and Wine magazine, The Kitchen currently ranks among the top restaurants in America. Gourmet, James Beard Foundation, Zagat’s, and Open Table share the same sentiment.
The Kitchen also has several outlets in other locations besides the one in Boulder. You can enjoy their cuisine in Chicago, Denver, and Downtown. Kimbal also worked in OneRiot as the CEO between 2006 and 2011. This is a network that runs advertisements. In late 2011, the company was bought by Walmart. However, the purchase price is still unknown to date. Kimbal launched the Next Door American Eatery in Boulder in 2011. By 2019, they had about 10 locations.
After nearly a decade of sponsoring the establishment of school gardens through the Growe Foundation, Big Green came to life. Kimbal partnered with Matheson to launch this venture. Originally known as The Kitchen Community, Big Green is a non-profit charity organization helping kids to connect with real food. They do so by fostering dynamic Learning Garden classes throughout America. Through Learning Gardens, learners can understand the benefit of healthy eating, food, and the consequences of lifestyle choices. In addition, they learn about environmental activities and lesson plans. Beyond that, they integrate them into the current school curricula like literacy, science, and, and math.
How Kimbal gives back to society
All The Kitchen outlets donate to sponsor the Big Green. These donations help with the creation of Learning Gardens in various local communities. In 2012 for example, the foundation was responsible for 26 Learning Gardens spread across Colorado. Furthermore, they built 16 Learning Gardens in Chicago and about 12 in other parts of the US. During the same year, Musk’s foundation received $1 million from Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Mayor to create 80 Learning Gardens. These gardens were for schools in Chicago City. On Feb 2nd, 2015, they held a celebration commemorating the 200th Learning Garden. The venue was Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. This is also where the first Green Learning project was initiated.
By December 2015, Kimbal and his foundation had managed 260 projects in Memphis, Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago. In the next few years, he co-founded an urban farming business known as the Square Roots. This company was farming organic food using hydroponics. Even more impressive is the fact that they did this in shipping containers. Later on, they partnered with GFS (Gordon Food Service) to inflate their services beyond NYC.
In early 2018 Kitchen Community transformed into Big Green, a nonprofit organization. At around the same time, they announced the expansion of their services to Detroit (the seventh city). Their target was to have 100 schools spread across this city. By 2019, Learning Gardens were spread across seven cities in the US, covering about 600 schools. As a result, more than 300k students were experiencing the impact of this project daily. They’ve even created an international holiday for planting seeds.
Like Elon, Kimbal is also a renowned figure in the mainstream media. He has appeared in prime publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, and The New York Times. Other publications that have expressed interest in Kimbal include Entrepreneur Magazine, CBS News, Chicago Sun-Times, WIRED, and Fast Company. the World Economic Forum went as far as naming him Global Social Entrepreneur in 2018.
Kimbal married Jen Lewin, and together, they have three kids. The couple actually founded The Kitchen together. However, they divorced years later. Kimbal remarried in 2018. He’s now husband to Christiana Wyly and a son-in-law to billionaire Sam Wyly.
Does Kimbal Musk have kids?
Yes, he has three kids with his first wife, Lewin. While it’s certain that two of his children are boys, we’re not sure about the identity of child no. 3. As we write this article, Kimbal has no children with Wyly.
What is Kimbal’s stake in Elon Musk’s Companies?
For starters, he is among the first investors in Tesla Motors, as such, he has significant shares in the company. He is also on the board of directors of both SpaceX and Tesla Inc. According to estimates, he owns 0.04% of Tesla shares. As such, his net worth is bound to increase as the company continues to expand.
What drives Kimbal?
Both the Musk brothers are business fanatics and great entrepreneurs. However, they’re driven by different things. One wants to explore space, while the other wants to change life on earth by making it better. Elon is into space exploration, and that’s what led to the founding of SpaceX. On the other hand, Kimbal loves to make a difference through food justice.
Kimbal’s passion for food justice is the driving force behind The Kitchen Restaurant Group. His primary mission is to ensure everyone can access quality food. Kimbal is a professional chef with a deep passion for food. As mentioned earlier, The Square Roots is an indoor farming company that contributes to his efforts towards food justice.
Does Kimbal share the same political views as Elon?
After the 6th January 2021 US Capital riot, Kimbal donated $2,800 to Republican politicians – 10 of whom had voted for the removal of Trump from office. At the beginning of that month, he also published a tweet referring to Trump as a traitor to the country. On the other hand, Elon claims he’s fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Furthermore, he’s against President Biden’s Billionaires’ tax plan. Kimbal has supported Elon by advocating for his elder brother. He claims Elon has paid the highest tax ever in America.
Is Kimbal a billionaire?
According to Forbes, Kimbal has not yet reached billionaire status. He has sold shares worth over $220 million since Tesla got listed as a public company in 2010. He has pledged nearly 600k Tesla shares to cover his loans. Forbes considered all of this and estimated Kimbal’s net worth at $752 million as of Nov 2021.
Controversies surrounding Kimbal
At Tesla Inc
Shareholders at Tesla Inc are accusing Elon of nepotism because Kimbal is his younger brother. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors. As a result of the family ties, shareholders believe that Kimbal’s ability to serve independently is compromised. In addition, they claim he has little to no experience in the company. As such, he has proven to be ineffective in carrying out the duties of the position he’s occupying. By the last quarter of 2021, Chipotle shareholders had also made several failed attempts when they tried to oust him as a Chipotle board member.
Kimbal is a person of interest at the SEC due to reports of insider trading. It emerged that in late 2021, he sold about 88, 500 shares worth $108 million. This was seven days earlier before Elon’s controversial Twitter poll. After asking followers whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla shares, Elon contributed to the company’s stock values plunging. Soon after, Elon disposed of shares worth $1.1 billion, and the value dropped further.
What startup founders can learn from Kimbal Musk
As an entrepreneur, the life story of Kimbal Musk is as inspirational as that of Elon Musk. He shares the same enthusiasm when it comes to investing as his elder brother. He is a family guy, and although he divorced his first wife, he remarried years later. He’s achieved impressive success as an entrepreneur. However, when it comes to specific interests, Kimbal is more invested in the food industry. This is unlike his brother who is more interested in outer space and Mars.
Despite his disinterest in outer space, Kimbal is a board member of SpaceX. He also remains a board member at Tesla Inc. While he’s been successful with most of his ventures, Kimbal has also faced various challenges in the business world. Some of them come from his main rival while others come from within his companies. A good example of this is Chipotle, where he was almost ousted. There are also controversies surrounding him at Tesla Inc. Nevertheless, none of this seems to dampen his entrepreneurial spirit.
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