Last Updated: July 9, 2024
Richest BusinessRichest Billionaires
Net Worth:
$1.6 Billion
Mar 21, 1973 (51 years old)
Lund, British Columbia, Canada
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What is Stewart Butterfield's Net Worth?

Stewart Butterfield is a Canadian billionaire businessman and Interpret entrepreneur who has a net worth of $1.6 billion. Stewart Butterfield co-founded the image-sharing website Flickr, but earned the majority of his fortune from the team communication platform Slack. He is the co-founder of the company formerly known as Tiny Speck, which built Slack as well as the short-lived massively multiplayer online game "Glitch." In late 2022, two years after the acquisition of Slack by Salesforce, Butterfield stepped down as CEO of Slack.

Early Life and Education

Stewart Butterfield was born as Dharma Butterfield on March 21, 1973 in Lund, British Columbia, Canada to Norma and David. He spent his early years growing up in a remote log cabin with no running water or electricity, as his father had fled the United States to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War. When he was five years old, Butterfield moved with his family to Victoria. At the age of 12, he changed his first name to Stewart. He was educated at St. Michaels University School, and then at the University of Victoria, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy in 1996. Butterfield went on to obtain a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge's Clare College in 1998.

Career Beginnings

While in college during the nascent days of the Internet, Butterfield made money designing websites. Later, at the dawn of the new millennium, he collaborated with Jason Classon on the startup website After the site was acquired, Butterfield went back to designing websites. He also launched the 5K competition, a contest for people to design websites under five kilobytes.

Ludicorp and Flickr

In the summer of 2002, Fake co-founded the company Ludicorp in Vancouver, Canada with Jason Classon and his wife Caterina Fake. The company went on to launch the website Flickr in 2004. Originally a platform for photographers to host high-resolution photos, the site became one of the world's most popular photo-sharing services, and in 2005 was acquired by Yahoo! for around $30 million. Flickr subsequently added such Web 2.0 features as social networking, tagging, and community-open APIs. Following the acquisition of the site, Butterfield remained the general manager of Flickr. He resigned from Flickr and Yahoo! in 2008.

Tiny Speck and Slack

After leaving Flickr and Yahoo!, Butterfield co-founded the company Tiny Speck in 2009. The company's first project was the browser-based massively multiplayer online game "Glitch," which launched in 2011. However, the game was soon shut down due to a lack of popularity. Butterfield and Tiny Speck had greater success with the team communication platform Slack, which was launched in 2013. The service was co-developed by Eric Costello, Cal Henderson, and Serguei Mourachov.

Following the launch of Slack, Tiny Speck was renamed Slack Technologies. Thanks to its wide application across a variety of working industries, Slack grew rapidly, accumulating over two million daily active users and $340 million in venture capital by the end of 2015. In 2019, Slack Technologies made its initial public offering with a market capitalization of $21.4 billion. The following year, the company was acquired by the cloud-based software company Salesforce for $27.7 billion. Butterfield went on to step down as CEO of Slack in late 2022.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Honors and Awards

Butterfield has earned many honors for his work in the business world. In 2005, he was named to Businessweek's list of Top 50 Leaders, and in 2006 was named to the Time 100 as one of the most influential people in the world. Butterfield went on to receive the Legacy Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Victoria in 2008. Among his other honors, he has been included on lists of notable entrepreneurs in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, and Details.

Personal Life

In 2001, Butterfield wed fellow Internet entrepreneur Caterina Fake, with whom he would co-found Ludicorp and Flickr. They had one child together before divorcing in 2007. Butterfield married his second wife, businesswoman Jennifer Rubio, in 2020. They have two children, including daughter Mint, who was rescued from a kidnapping in 2024.

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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