Last Updated: May 13, 2024
Richest BusinessExecutives
Net Worth:
$10 Billion
Nov 6, 1963 (60 years old)
West Milford
United States of America
💰 Compare Laurene Powell Jobs' Net Worth

What Is Laurene Powell Jobs' Net Worth?

Laurene Powell Jobs is an American billionaire who has a net worth of $10 billion. Laurene Powell Jobs earned her fortune as the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Upon Steve's death in 2011, Laurene instantly became one of the wealthiest women in the world. And while you may assume her wealth comes from Steve's stake in Apple, the majority of the Jobs family fortune actually comes from a large stake in Disney. How?…

In 2006, Steve sold Pixar to Disney for $7.4 billion. In the sale, he received 138 million Disney shares, roughly 7% of the total shares outstanding. That made him the largest individual owner of Disney stock. At the time of his death, those shares were worth $8 billion. His Apple equity was "only" worth around $2 billion at the time of his death.

Disney Shares

Laurene inherited full ownership of Steve's Apple and Disney stakes. According to an SEC filing, in 2017, she sold roughly half of her Disney stake, roughly 64.3 million shares, for pre-tax proceeds of roughly $7 billion. The sale left her with roughly 4% of Disney's total outstanding shares. Since she is no longer above 5%, Disney does not have to report her transactions publicly. As of this writing, if she still owns the remainder of her stake, those roughly 74 million shares are worth $7 billion. At various times, those shares have been worth north of $15 billion. Laurene earns around $120 million in cash dividends every year from Disney (technically $60 million semi-annually).

Apple Shares

When Steve died, he passed 5.5 million shares of Apple on to Laurene. Over the years, Laurene has earned well over $1 billion in cash dividends. She also sold roughly 10% of her stake every year until 2021, when proxy statements showed she no longer owned a significant amount of Apple shares.

What could have been…

When the stock split 7-1 in 2014, that stake became 38.5 million shares. When the stock split 4-1 in August 2020, that stake would have become 154 million shares. As of this writing, 154 million shares would be worth nearly $30 billion. Every year those shares would produce around $160 million in dividends (technically, $40 million per quarter).

Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Early Life and Meeting Steve

Laurene Powell was born November 3, 1963, in West Milford, Connecticut.

Powell Jobs earned a B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in political science and economics. After graduation, she worked for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch on Wall Street in the mid-to-late 1980s. In 1989, she headed to Palo Alto, California, where she enrolled at Stanford to earn an MBA.

One night, a friend asked Laurene to attend an event on campus that featured Steve Jobs as a speaker. She knew a little bit about Jobs, but in her mind she pictured more of a Bill Gates type.

At the time, Jobs was no longer running Apple. Instead, he was the head of a new computer company he launched called NeXT. That did not impress Laurene, but her friend really wanted to go, so she went along begrudgingly. They were late and attempted to sit in the aisle, but security quickly explained that was not an option. So Laurene and her friend slid into some empty reserved seats right in the front row of the lecture hall.

Before it was his turn to speak, Steve Jobs ended up sitting next to Laurene.

Steve and Laurene started chatting. She flirted with him by joking that she'd won a raffle and the prize was dinner with him. After the lecture, Jobs went looking for Laurene and found her in the parking lot. He asked her about the raffle. They exchanged phone numbers and set a date for dinner the following Saturday. Jobs was about to walk away to a business dinner with his colleagues from NeXT. He suddenly stopped, turned around, and asked Laurene if she wanted to go to dinner right then and there. She said yes, and they headed to a restaurant in Palo Alto called Saint Michael's Alley. Their first dinner date lasted four hours, and they were together from that moment forward.

Steve and Laurene married on March 18, 1991, at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. Their son Reed was born in September 1991. Daughters Erin and Eve were born in 1995 and 1998, respectively. Laurene is also stepmother to Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Steve's daughter from a previous relationship.

Other Work

Outside of her association with Steve Jobs, Laurene is the co-founder and President of the Board of Directors at the national education nonprofit organization College Track, which works to send underprivileged youth to college. Powell Jobs previously co-founded Terravera, a food company that specialized in organic and healthy food products.

Before going to business school, she also spent three years at the business firm Goldman Sachs and worked for Merrill Lynch Asset Management. Laurene also served on the board of Directions of Achieva, which creates online tools to help students study more efficiently for standardized testing.

In October 2017, Powell Jobs purchased a stake in the ownership group Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which includes the NBA's Washington Wizards, NHL's Washington Capitals, and the Capital One Arena. Her 20% stake makes her the second-largest shareholder behind chairman Ted Leonsis.

Key Facts
  • Received 5.5m Apple shares when Steve Jobs died in 2011
  • Owns 154m Apple shares today after two stock splits
  • Those Apple shares are worth around $20b today
  • Those Apple shares generate $160m in cash dividends annually
  • Inherited 138m shares of Disney when Steve died
  • Those Disney shares were worth $8b in 2011
  • Sold Half her Disney stake for $7b in 2017
  • Remaining Disney stake is worth $20b today
  • Her Disney shares produce $120m in annual dividends

(Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Giving Away The Fortune

Laurene has stated in numerous interviews that she does not plan on leaving her children with billions of dollars. She has explained her feelings about wealth in several interviews:

"I'm not interested in legacy wealth buildings, and my children know that. Steve wasn't interested in that. If I live long enough, it ends with me."

"I'm very aware of the fact that we're all just passing through here. I feel like I'm hitting my stride now. It is my goal to effectively deploy resources. If there's nothing left when I die, that's just fine."

Philanthropy and Activism

In 2004, Powell Jobs founded the Emerson Collective, a private company that supports social entrepreneurs and organizations working in education and immigration reform, social justice, media, and journalism through partnerships, investments, and grants. Through this collective, Laurene owns "The Atlantic" and Axios. In 2016, Powell Jobs donated $2 million to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and raised an additional $4 million for her. In 2017, she was part of the founding of the political organization ACRONYM, which raised ethical questions for Laurene for its creation of Courier Newsroom. In the 2020 U.S. presidential primaries, Powell Jobs donated to several Democratic candidates. After Joe Biden became the Democratic presidential nominee, Laurene went on to donate over $600,000 to the Biden-Harris campaign.

It's her philanthropy that she's best known for, in stark contrast to her deceased husband, who was somewhat notoriously uninterested in charitable causes throughout his life. She is a member of the boards of directors of charitable and community organizations such as Teach for America, the Global Fund for Women, TV station KQED (PBS), EdVoice, the New America Foundation, and the Stanford Schools Corporation.

In 1997, Powell Jobs and Carlos Watson co-founded College Track, a non-profit organization in East Palo Alto that aims to improve high school graduation, college enrollment, and college graduation rates for "underserved" students. College Track has a success rate of 90 percent of students attending four-year colleges after graduation. College Track has expanded and now has facilities all over California, as well as in New Orleans, Colorado, Denver, and Washington D.C.  Laurene sits on the board of College Track, Conservation International, and Stanford University.

In September 2015, she launched a $50 million initiative to create high schools with new approaches to education called "XQ: The Super School Project." Funding for the project comes from the Emerson Collective. Powell Jobs is the chair of the board of directors of XC. She is also a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council.

Clearly, Laurene Powell Jobs is someone who isn't content to just sit on her wealth, instead using her blessings to give back to not just her community but various communities all over the planet.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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