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Eric Yuan

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Eric S. Yuan
Born1969/1970 (age 50–51)[1]
NationalityUnited States[1]
Alma materShandong University of Science and Technology (BS)
China University of Mining and Technology (MS)
Stanford University (MBA)
Known forCEO and founder of Zoom Video Communications, Technical VC at WebEx and Cisco[2]
Home townTai'an, Shandong
Net worthUS$7.8 billion (2020)[1]
TitleFounder and CEO, Zoom Video Communications

Eric S. Yuan (Chinese: 袁征; pinyin: Yuán Zhēng; born 1970) is a Chinese-American billionaire businessman, and the CEO and founder of Zoom Video Communications, of which he owns 22%.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Yuan is the son of mining engineers. He was born and raised in Tai'an, Shandong Province, China.[2][4] In 4th grade, Yuan collected construction scraps to recycle copper for cash.[2]

As a first-year university student in 1987, he was inspired to develop videotelephony software while he took 10-hour train rides to visit his girlfriend and was looking for an easier way to "visit" her.[5][4] He earned a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics from Shandong University of Science and Technology, and a master's degree in mining engineering from China University of Mining and Technology.[citation needed] Yuan attended a Stanford University executive program, earning an MBA from the school in 2006.[2][6]


Yuan worked in Japan four years after graduation. Inspired by Bill Gates who spoke in Japan in 1994, he moved to Silicon Valley in 1997 to join the tech boom.[5] At the time, Yuan spoke very little English, and applied nine times before being granted a visa to the United States.[4][7]

Upon arriving in the country, Yuan joined WebEx, a videoconferencing startup.[2] The company was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2007; at which time he became vice president of engineering.[4] In 2011, Yuan pitched a new smartphone-friendly video conferencing system to Cisco management.[8] When the idea was rejected, Yuan left Cisco to establish his own company, Zoom Video Communications.[4]

In 2019, Zoom became a public company via an initial public offering, at which time Yuan became a billionaire.[2][1]

Personal life[edit]

Yuan married at age 22, while he was a master's student at China University of Mining and Technology.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Eric Yuan & family". Forbes.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Konrad, Alex (May 31, 2019). "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! The Exclusive Inside Story Of The New Billionaire Behind Tech's Hottest IPO". Forbes.
  3. ^ Pendleton, Devon (21 March 2020). "The rise of social distancing during coronavirus pandemic pushes Zoom founder's net worth up by $2 billion in 2020".
  4. ^ a b c d e Weiner, Yitzi (October 2, 2017). "The Inspiring Backstory of Eric S. Yuan, Founder and CEO of Zoom". Medium.
  5. ^ a b Huddleston Jr., Tom (April 18, 2019). "A Bill Gates speech inspired Zoom founder to start an internet business—now he's a billionaire". CNBC.
  6. ^ Stone, Brett (2020-03-29). "A Biography of Eric Yuan, Founder and CEO of Zoom". Medium. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  7. ^ Levy, Ari (April 19, 2020). "Zoom's CEO emigrated from China 22 years ago and spoke little English — now he's worth almost $3 billion". CNBC.
  8. ^ Rogers, Taylor Nicole (April 1, 2020). "Meet Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom, who has made nearly $4 billion in 3 months as usage of his video conferencing software skyrockets amid the coronavirus pandemic". Business Insider.