Laurene Powell Jobs: Famous Billionaire Businesswoman
Zatrun Published at June 07, 2023

In our article titled “Who is Laurene Powell Jobs 101: Famous Billionaire Businesswoman”, we will provide you with a detailed overview of Laurene Powell Jobs, a renowned billionaire businesswoman and executive, which our readers at are curious about.

Laurene Powell Jobs

Who is Laurene Powell Jobs?

Laurene Powell Jobs is an American billionaire businesswoman and executive. She is the founder and president of Emerson Collective and XQ Institute. Powell Jobs is also the widow of Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple Inc., and manages the Steve Jobs Trust. Recently, she has made significant donations to Democratic Party politicians.

Powell Jobs grew up in West Milford, New Jersey. In 1985, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the School of Arts and Sciences and a degree in economics from the Wharton School of the same university. In 1991, she received her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Before attending business school, Laurene Powell Jobs co-founded Terravera, a natural food company that sold to retailers in Northern California. She also served on the board of directors of Achieva, an online tool that helps students study for standardized tests more effectively. Prior to her career in business, Powell Jobs worked at Merrill Lynch Asset Management and was a fixed-income trading strategist at Goldman Sachs for three years.

The Death of Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, passed away on October 5th, 2011 at the age of 56 due to complications arising from the recurrence of islet-cell neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer. Laurene Powell Jobs took over the Steven P. Jobs Trust and as of May 2013, she held a 7.3% stake in The Walt Disney Company, valued at around $12.1 billion, and 38.5 million shares of Apple Inc. As of July 2020, Powell Jobs and her family ranked 59th on Forbes’ annual list of world billionaires and 30th on the Forbes 400. She is considered the richest woman in the technology industry on the same list.

Next Career and Activism:

Laurene Powell Jobs established a private company called Emerson Collective in 2004, which supports social entrepreneurs and organizations working on education and immigration reform, social justice, media and journalism, and conservation through partnerships, grants, and investments. Through Emerson, Powell Jobs holds a stake in The Atlantic and Axios.

In the 2016 US presidential election, Powell Jobs donated $2 million to Hillary Clinton and raised an additional $4 million for her. She is an early investor and board member of Ozy, which lists her as a “contributor.” Powell Jobs co-founded College Track with Carlos Watson in 1997.

In 2017, Powell Jobs purchased a 20% stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Washington Wizards in the NBA, the Washington Capitals in the NHL, and the Capital One Arena. She was the second-largest shareholder after President Ted Leonsis. Also in 2017, Laurene Powell Jobs supported the formation of political organization ACRONYM due to the creation of the courier news-focused Courier Newsroom, which raised ethical questions. In 2018, she released a statement regarding her stepdaughter Lisa Brennan’s book Small Fry, which contained inaccurate information about Steve Jobs.


In 1997, Laurene Powell Jobs and Carlos Watson founded College Track, a non-profit organization in East Palo Alto, aimed at improving high school graduation, college enrollment, and college graduation rates for “underserved” students. Approximately 90% of College Track’s high school graduates, many of whom are first-generation college students, attend four-year colleges, while 70% graduate from college within six years, compared to a national average of 24% for first-generation college students. College Track facilities are located in East Palo Alto, Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Watts, Boyle Heights, New Orleans, Aurora, Colorado, Denver, and Washington, DC.

Powell Jobs says, “We have a waitlist for the five cities we want to open. We want to maintain our standards and are hesitant to grow by spreading our education program and franchising.” In September 2015, Laurene Powell Jobs launched XQ: The Super School Project, a $50 million project to create new high schools with innovative approaches to education. The initiative aims to encourage educators, students, and community leaders to create and implement new high school plans.

The work is done by changing school programs, curriculums, and technologies to change the country’s century-old high school education model. XQ’s funding comes from Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective. After the initial $50 million contribution, XQ announced a total of $100 million in financial support by awarding ten schools each with $10 million. The schools were selected from approximately 700 applications on a national level. Powell Jobs’ advisory team is led by Russlynn H. Ali.

Powell Jobs is a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council. As of 2018, Powell Jobs is a board member of College Track, Conservation International, and Stanford University. She is also the chair of XQ’s board and serves on the advisory board of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2014, Forbes ranked her as the 29th most powerful woman in the world. Her ranking rose from 39th place in 2013. Powell Jobs’ philanthropy has been described as limited in “transparency and accountability.” In 2019, she was named “The Least Transparent Mega Giver” by Inside Philanthropy.

Personal Life:

Laurene Powell was a new MBA student at Stanford Business School in October 1989 when she attended a conference titled “View from the Top” by Steve Jobs. Powell slid forward and struck up a conversation with Jobs while sitting beside him. They then had dinner together that night. One and a half years later, on March 18th, 1991, they were married in a ceremony at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.

A Zen Buddhist monk named Kōbun Chino Otogawa was present at the wedding. Powell Jobs currently resides in Palo Alto, California. She had three children with Steve Jobs: son Reed (born September 1991) and daughters Erin (born 1995) and Eve (born 1998). Additionally, Lisa Brennan-Jobs (born 1978), Steve Jobs’ daughter from a previous relationship, is Powell’s stepdaughter.

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