In Silicon Valley he’s known as the billionaire that started Netscape and designed a computer chip that was able to process 3-D images in real time.In Australia, he’s known as that old dude that married Aussie swimsuit model, Kristy Hinze.
At Goldman Sachs, Jim Clark is that loaded private wealth client they wish they’d never pitched the Facebook opportunity to.
Goldman pitched the 70-year old billionaire on the firm’s big Facebook deal, and now he’s telling Bloomberg Markets Magazine that when he got the pitch email, he was instantly “irked.”
He’s even spreading the word that the bank pitched the opportunity at a bad price with high fees on top of it, and worse, that he received a better offer to get invested in Facebook, elsewhere.
So who is Goldman’s new public enemy?
Clark is a doctor and computer scientist who has founded several notable tech companies, though the one for which he is best known is Netscape.
The Texas-born billionaire dropped out of high school after being suspended, and then spent four years in the Navy.
Why was he suspended from school? Because he ignited a smoke bomb on a bus; once smuggled a skunk into a school dance; and the final straw – he told an English teacher to go to hell.
Despite his lack of high school diploma, after taking night courses at Tulane, he managed to get himself a spot at the University of New Orleans.
There he earned a B.A, and eventually a Master’s degree in physics. He go his PhD in computer science from the University of Utah.
In 1982, Clark and a group of graduate students he had taught at Stanford, with funding from a Silicon Valley VC, started Silicon Graphics – “the most successful company in Silicon Valley at the time.”
It was while he was working at the National centre for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in ’93, that he pioneered the development of NCSA Mosaic – aka the first widely distributed, easy-to-use software for browsing the web.
A year later, he co-founded Netscape, which went public a year later, sending him into the wealth stratosphere.
He was the subject of Michael Lewis’ “The New New Thing,” and is a well-known philanthropist – he’s been a major donor to Stanford, and in fact his $150 million donation to the university is the largest single gift the school has ever received.
In 2009, after three previous marriages, he married swimsuit model Krisy Hinze. She’s 36 years his junior, and hosts the Australian version of Project Runway. And her parent’s couldn’t stand him at first, because of the age gap.
Clark has two children and, keeping things in the Valley, daughter Kathy is married to Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube.