The Journey of Jensen Huang: From Dishwasher to Nvidia's Top Executive

The Journey of Jensen Huang: From Dishwasher to Nvidia's Top Executive

Jensen Huang--

Jensen Huang, the founder and CEO of Nvidia, is now one of the world's wealthiest individuals. His wealth surged in 2023 due to the skyrocketing Nvidia stock, driven by the high demand for artificial intelligence (AI) chips.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as of Friday, May 24, 2025, Huang's net worth reached $91.3 billion (approximately Rp 1,464 trillion), up from $77 billion (approximately Rp 1,234 trillion) at the start of the year. This increase has placed Huang at 17th on the list of the world's richest people.


Nvidia has also been recognized as one of the most valuable companies globally, with a market capitalization of $2.59 trillion, a 259.63% increase from last year, according to Stock Analysis.

This semiconductor company ranks third in value worldwide, behind Microsoft and Apple.

So, who is Jensen Huang, and how did he grow Nvidia to its current prominence?
From Dishwasher to CEO



Jensen Huang was born in Tainan, Taiwan, in 1963. His family moved frequently during his childhood.

At around five years old, Huang's family moved to Thailand. They didn’t stay long, and after his father became part of a worker training program in the United States with the AC manufacturer Carrier, it was planned for Huang to move to the US as well.

His father saw many opportunities in the US, and the geopolitical instability in Thailand during the Vietnam War also played a role in their decision.

To prepare for their move, Huang's mother, who was not proficient in English, learned the language along with her children. Huang and his brother were tasked with memorizing 10 words from the English dictionary each day.

At nine, the Huang brothers were sent to live with their uncle in Tacoma. They then stayed in a boys' boarding school called Oneida Baptist Institute in Oneida, Kentucky, which their uncle mistakenly thought was a regular school with dormitories.

Eventually, the Huang family settled in Portland, Oregon. There, Huang played tennis and completed high school, graduating at 16, two years earlier than typical.

After high school, Huang worked as a dishwasher in an American restaurant. Although he started as a dishwasher, this first job remains a valuable experience for him. He also took pride in transitioning to a waiter role.

Huang pursued an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at Oregon State University, where he met his future wife, Lori, as lab partners in an electrical engineering class.

Graduating in 1984, Huang worked at several tech companies, including AMD, now a competitor to Nvidia, and LSI Logic, now owned by Broadcom.

Simultaneously, he studied nights and weekends, earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1992.

With experience in engineering and microprocessor design, Huang founded Nvidia in 1993 with his colleagues, Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem.

The company was conceptualized at a Denny's restaurant in East San Jose. By then, 30-year-old Huang was no longer a dishwasher but a visionary entrepreneur.

At its inception, Huang and his partners had only $40,000, but they had a clear vision of the future of computing.

30 Years as CEO

Since its founding, Huang has served as Nvidia's CEO. Under his leadership, Nvidia has grown into a trillion-dollar company.

One of Huang's keys to success is his preference for working with people focused on building innovations rather than those looking to capture market share by cutting prices or polishing existing technologies.

For Huang, the ability to choose the right path is crucial. Nvidia often takes on extremely challenging tasks because such endeavors can inspire and minimize competition.

By creating unprecedented innovations and patiently nurturing talent, Huang believes that "great people will continue to do great things," as reported by Quartr.

In terms of leadership style, Huang doesn’t have a fixed desk at the office. Instead, he moves around the building, working in various conference rooms.

He frequently eats in the cafeteria, engaging with staff over lunch or dinner.

This approach helps maintain Nvidia’s long-standing culture. Huang prefers interacting with employees over giving media interviews.

Both Jensen Huang and Nvidia are currently experiencing significant success due to the growing demand for AI chips from companies worldwide, fueled by the rise of generative AI.

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