Tobias Lütke 101: Shopify's Successful Founder and CEO
Zatrun Published at April 29, 2023

In our article “Tobias Lütke 101: Who is the Successful Founder and CEO of Shopify?” on, we will delve into everything you need to know in detail about Tobias Lütke, the successful founder and CEO of Shopify that our readers are curious about.

Tobias Lütke 101: Shopify's Successful Founder and CEO

Who is Tobias Lütke?

Tobias “Tobi” Lütke MSC is a billionaire entrepreneur who founded and currently serves as the CEO of Shopify, a leading e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Lütke was a key member of the core team behind the development of Ruby on Rails, a popular web application framework, and has also created open source libraries such as Active Merchant. As of 2022, he was ranked as the 11th wealthiest person in Canada.

Born in Koblenz, Germany in 1981, Lütke’s passion for technology was evident at a young age. At just six years old, his parents gave him a Schneider CPC computer, which sparked his interest in programming. By the time he was 11 or 12, he was already modifying computer hardware and rewriting game code as a hobby.

Upon completing the 10th grade, Tobias Lütke left school and joined an apprenticeship program at the Koblenzer Carl-Benz-School to embark on his journey in computer programming. In 2002, he moved to Canada. Lütke credits John Carmack’s “plan-files” from the mid-1990s as a significant influence on his teenage years. He describes them as “a master class in systems design” and says they made a huge impression on him.

Tobias Lütke 101: Shopify's Successful Founder and CEO

Career Life

In 2004, Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake launched Snowdevil, an online snowboard shop. Lütke created a new e-commerce platform for the site using Ruby on Rails. However, they soon shifted their focus to e-commerce and launched Shopify in 2006. Lütke currently owns a 7% stake in Shopify, which went public in 2015. Despite holding a minority of the outstanding shares, Lütke controls a 40% voting interest in Shopify thanks to a two-class voting structure.

Lütke’s achievements have been recognized on several occasions. In November 2014, The Globe and Mail named him “CEO of the Year.” He was also awarded the Meritorious Service Cross on November 5, 2018, for his contributions to the growth of the Canadian technology industry. In 2019, Lütke donated $1,000,001 to Team Trees, the largest donation as of December 14, 2022, with the message “For the Lorax.” Additionally, in 2021, Lütke donated $1,200,001 to Team Seas, the fourth-largest donation as of December 14, 2022, with the message “For the Lorax… but wet.”

Tobias Lütke 101: Shopify's Successful Founder and CEO

A press release on September 8, 2021, revealed that Tobias Lütke, along with former and current executives of Shopify and Celtic House Venture Partners, contributed $3 million in funding to Creative Layer. This company offers a customized print-on-demand platform that manages Shopify orders, proofs, fulfillment, and team members worldwide.

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