Having a high-stress job can definitely take a toll on someone’s mind and body. Especially if you’re running an entire company. Most CEOs get up early and they’re passionate about their jobs so it makes sense that they need a stress-reliever to completely free them of all work-related worries.
And that’s where hobbies become the solution. These extra-curricular activities range from killing elephants to space travel, but all of them are thrill-seeking and, often, dangerous.
Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons couldn't have shocked the public more after he posted a graphic video of himself -- accompanied by a small posse -- killing an elephant in Zimbabwe.
The documented hunt was supposedly conducted to target three elephants that were causing problems for farmers in the area. The video depicted someone shooting the animal in the dark before local villagers scramble to divide the carcass for food.
Parsons called the slain animal a 'problem elephant.' He was named 'Scummiest CEO of the Year' by PETA.
William Barron Hilton, co-chairman of Hilton Hotels and, perhaps more famously, Paris Hilton's grandfather, is nuts about flying. He has a 750,000-acre ranch in Nevada for all his aviation thrills. He flies gliders, helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and even balloons out there.
Hilton told Forbes his love of flying was piqued in the Navy, and he later earned his pilot's licence in Oahu. He holds an annual flying competition where the winner gets to come check out the Flying-M ranch.
Sandy Lerner of Cisco Systems goes all out when it comes to jousting. It is one of her favourite hobbies, and she owns everything from the lances to the period costumes.
She purchased an 800-acre farm in Upperville, Virginia, where she raises dozens of Shire horses for just that purpose.
India's fourth-richest billionaire and chairman of Reliance ADA Group, Anil Ambani often runs the streets of Mumbai before dawn with his bodyguards. He first trained for the Boston Marathon in 2003 after someone questioned his weight at an investor's conference in New York.
William C. Ford Jr., the executive chairman of Ford Motor and great-grandson of Henry Ford, can be seen in his car commercials with a pretty gentle and genial demeanor. But don't get on his bad side: the guy is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
He can break boards with his bare hands.
You probably know know Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett for being one of the richest people in the world. But less known is his decades-long love for the ukulele.
Buffett has given instruments and lessons to children's clubs in Omaha, and even the ukuleles he touches become famous: a white signed Buffett uke was auctioned on eBay for $11,211.11, with the proceeds going to charity.
Canadian Guy Laliberté, creator current CEO of Cirque du Soleil, has made his name creating the world's best circus and playing poker. But when it comes to his passion, Laliberté decided space was the place.
He was the first Canadian space tourist, a private explorer with the mission of bringing awareness to water issues on planet Earth. He went up in space in September 2009, broadcasting a 2-hour program to cities around the world.
Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group likes to travel in the most extreme ways -- the kind that breaks world records. He has made various attempts at different records, including circling the globe non-stop in a hot-air balloon (he failed).
Some of his successful attempts include crossing the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle (1 hour 40 minutes) and becoming the first person to cross the same channel in a hot air balloon a year later.
Lawrence 'Larry' Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation, has been married and divorced four times, but we wouldn't call marriage (and divorce) his hobby. Instead, Ellison is fierce about yachting -- specifically, racing said yachts.
Ellison first learned about sailing in the 1960s at the University of California. Since then, he has owned one of the world's biggest yachts and competed in multiple world-class races, including the Maxi World Championships (which he won five times) and the America's Cup, which he competes in to this day.
Jeff Taylor has the distinction of being called one of the world's most eccentric CEOs. Maybe its because he loves one-upping fellow eccentric billionaire Richard Branson.
He's the five-time world-record holder for the longest distance water skiing behind a blimp. Taylor smashed the record previously held by Branson, riding for 3.3 miles on water skis behind the Monster.com blimp.
Former Motorola CEO Mike Zafirovski is always looking to prove his mettle. He took on a CEO challenge to do so: he completed an Ironman triathlon (2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike, and a marathon run) with a time time of 13 hours and 37 minutes.
The very next day, he started at Motorola.
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