Leadership

8 business icons who became highly successful after 30

Oprah Winfrey 1978
Afro American Newspapers | Gado | Getty Images

The early success of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates might be inspirational, but it's certainly not the norm.

On average, it takes self-made millionaires 32 years to become rich, according to a Rich Habits study of over 200 millionaires cited by Business Insider.

If you have yet to launch a billion-dollar business or score a CEO position, you're in great company. The interactive graphic below, by The UK Domain, shows icons who became successful at the age you are right now.

In addition, we've highlighted eight business leaders who didn't find success until their 30s:

1. Oprah Winfrey

Born in poverty to a single teen mother, Winfrey grew up in a low-income family in rural Mississippi. At age 32, her first talk show aired nationwide, starting what would eventually become a media empire.

2. Jeff Bezos

Bezos initially founded Amazon as an online book store at age 31. Today Amazon has become the go-to seller for almost everything, and the 54-year-old is now the world's richest person.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Lindsey Wasson | Reuters
Jeff Bezos, Amazon

3. Doris Fisher

Named as one of the top 100 most powerful women by Forbes, Fisher co-founded Gap with her late husband at age 37. The retail store eventually expanded to include Old Navy and Banana Republic.

4. William Lever

In 1886, the 35-year-old co-founded a soap manufacturing company with his brother, called Lever Brothers. Their business later grew into the multinational consumer goods company Unilever.

5. Reid Hoffman

Hoffman's first business win came at PayPal, which he joined as a founding board member at age 31. After a tumultuous four years at the company, he co-founded the professional network site LinkedIn at age 35. In 2016, Microsoft bought his company for $26.2 billion.

Reid Hoffman
Kim White | CNBC
Reid Hoffman

6. Masaru Ibuka

The Japanese businessman was 38 when he founded Sony in 1946. Though he left the multibillion-dollar company in 1976, he remained as an advisor until his death in 1998.

7. Gordon Moore

At age 39, Moore co-founded NM Electronics, now Intel Corporation. After holding several positions within the company, Moore was named chairman emeritus in 1997.

These days, the billionaire focuses much of his attention on philanthropic work through the foundation he established with his wife, Betty.

8. Vivienne Westwood

Westwood started her career as a schoolteacher, while making jewelry and clothing on the side.

At age 30, she quit teaching to fully pursue fashion design. Some of her most notable clients include members of the British royal family and rapper turned producer Pharrell.

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