You don’t always hear about them. Yet they exist in their own epic way. While you’re hoping to get that perfect selfie with a celebrity, businessmen are locked away indoors, busy thinking about new ways to make your life easy. Maybe even help you with that selfie through their inventions. While 2018 has seen some bizarre stuff happen with entertainers and athletes, businessmen, too, made headlines. From making groundbreaking discoveries to blurting out some outrageous statements, businessmen have attracted media attention quite a bit.
The darling of geeks, Musk had a series of mishaps in 2018 – all of which could be avoided. Back in August, Musk had tweeted that he would be taking Tesla private at $420 a share and that he had secured funding. His tweets had no basis but created a lot of market chaos. The US Securities and Exchange Commission disclosed that Musk and Tesla will have to pay $20 million each to regulators and the former will also have to step down as his company’s chairman. He could, however, remain CEO. Musk was also photographed at an interview smoking pot, a move which caught the attention of the US military, which doesn’t tolerate its consumption. Musk’s company, SpaceX, works closely with the US Air Force, which is why they got so worked up.
The founder of the Virgin Group was ‘seconds away’ from death. The billionaire and his son, Sam, were climbing Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in the Alps when “rocks rained down on us from every angle. I am not exaggerating when I say four of our team were seconds away from certain death.” Branson mentioned on his blog that a side of a cliff had broken away from the mountain and “seconds later huge boulders the size of small cars” were heading towards them.
AP Photo/Matt Dunham
Mallya, as we all know, is wanted for defaulting on Rs 9,000 crore in loans for his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Mallya had moved to Britain in 2016, citing that he wanted to be closer to his children. However, as the financial scandals against him began to blow up, the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation began investigating him. Calls for his extradition grew louder and a UK court ruled in favour of him being brought back to India. Mallya pleaded against his extradition highlighting the conditions of Indian prisons. The UK ruled that there was “no ground at all to believe that" he would have any risks in an Indian prison and that he’ll have access to personal medical care.
Mallya was a flamboyant celeb with an IPL team, a Formula One team, a large business empire and several villas and yachts. Most of his assets have been auctioned on court orders to recover debts.
Popularly known as Woz, Steve is the guy who engineered Apple 1, the first home computer. Along with his close friend Steve Jobs, he co-founded Apple. In an interview with Economic Times, Woz spoke about the possibility of a tech giant emerging from India. He told the publication that he doesn’t see any big advances in tech companies in the country. His comments led to severe criticism on social media.
“The culture here is one of success based upon academic excellence, studying, learning, practising and having a good job and a great life. For upper India, not the lower. I see two Indias. That’s a lot like Singapore study, study, work hard and you get an MBA, you will have a Mercedes but where is the creativity?” he had said.
The creator of Facebook was under intense scrutiny this year as he battled out various pressing issues that surrounded his company. The most prominent among those controversies involved the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Multiple media outlets reported a data breach which led to information of about 87 million people being shared improperly with CA. Zuckerberg had to sit in front of the US Senate and clarify himself. Besides, the CA controversy, Facebook was also pulled up for the staggering amount of fake news and hate speech being generated on the platform.
The Amazon CEO became the first person to go past the $150 billion mark after three decades since Forbes began tracking the richest Americans. The feat made him the richest person in the world. However, his net worth fell from $168 billion in September to $115 billion towards the end of the year.