Sean Parker - Facebook's First President and Co-Founder of Napster

Megha Rani Megha Rani
Aug 18, 2021 7 min read
Sean Parker - Facebook's First President and Co-Founder of Napster

Sean Parker is an American entrepreneur who is known for co-founding a file-sharing computer service Napster and serving as the first president of Facebook. He also co-founded Plaxo (an online address book); Causes (a civic technology app and website for campaigning ); Airtime.com (a group video chat app for iOS); and Brigade (a civic technology platform). He is the Founder and Chairman of his philanthropic firm, Parker Foundation. He was ranked 722 on the Forbes 2016 list of the world's billionaires with a net worth of $2.4 billion. As of January 2021, he has a net worth of $3 billion.

Sean Parker - Biography

Name Sean Parker
Born December 3, 1979
Birthplace Herndon, Virginia, U.S.
Age 41 (2021)
Nationality American
Education Oakton High School, Chantilly High School
Profession Entrepreneur, Investor
Position President of Facebook, Chairman of Parker Foundation, Managing Partner at The Founders Fund
Founder at Parker Foundation
Co-founder of Napster, Airtime, Causes, Brigade
Net worth $3 billion (January 2021)
Board member of Spotify, Yammer
Father Bruce Parker
Mother Diane Parker
Marital Status Married (2013)
Spouse Alexandra Lenas
Daughter Winter Victoria Parker
Son Zephyr Emerson Parker

Sean Parker - Personal Life
Sean Parker - Education
Sean Parker - Professional Life
Sean Parker - Co-founder of Napster
Sean Parker - Co-founder of Plaxo
Sean Parker - Co-founder of Brigade Media
Sean Parker - Philanthropist
Sean Parker - Conclusion
Sean Parker - FAQs


Sean Parker - Personal Life

Sean Parker's tip for success

Sean was born to Diane and Bruce Parker, who was a U.S government oceanographer and Chief Scientist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). His mother, Diane Parker was a TV advertising broker.

He likes programming and hacking since his early teens. Sean was once convicted because he tried to hack a network of a Fortune 500 company and FBI agents tracked the 16-year-old boy through his IP address. He was sentenced to community service owing to his juvenility.

In 2013, he married Alexandra Lenas, who is a singer-songwriter. The couple has two children namely Winter Victoria Parker and Zephyr Emerson Parker.

Sean Parker - Education

Sean completed his formal education at Oakton High School, in Virginia and later from Chantilly High School. At school, he used to spend most of his time in the computer lab and practice coding. Thus, he soon became a passionate programmer and used to intern in companies while studying in his high school.

He used to write codes for startup companies. He worked as an intern for Mark Pincus for his startup FreeLoader. He further completed his graduation in 1998. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruited him by seeing his winning potential at the Virginia state computer science fair for developing a Web Crawler.


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Sean Parker - Professional Life

While studying in his senior year of high school, he earned more than $80,000 a year through internships and projects. He convinced his parents to let him skip college and pursue a career as an entrepreneur. He was an avid reader and believed in self-learning.

He is also the managing partner at the Founders Fund, a venture capital fund founded by Peter Thiel. While working there, he made an investment in a Swedish streaming music service, Spotify to share Napster's music legally. Β He also established a philanthropic firm named, Parker Foundation.


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Sean Parker - Co-founder of Napster

Napster Logo
Napster Logo

At age 15, Sean met a 14-year-old boy Shawn Fanning through the internet. Both of them fused over topics like theoretical physics and hacking. After two years, they founded Napster, a free file-sharing service for music.

Sean raised $50,000 and launched it in June 1999. Napster had 10 million users within a year but it was opposed by the recording labels, the Recording Industry Association of America, the heavy metal band Metallica and few others.

Eventually, the lawsuits from several industries did not allow him to run Napster. However, Napster is considered the fastest growing business of all time and it revolutionized the music industry. It is believed through some reports that Napster is an antecedent to iTunes.

Sean Parker - Co-founder of Plaxo

Plaxo Logo
Plaxo Logo

Sean Parker launched an online address book and social networking service, Plaxo in November 2002. It was initially a social networking tool, which would later influence the growth of companies like, LinkedIn, Zynga and Facebook.

Plaxo grew with 20 million users and became the first-ever brand to use viral marketing in its launch. In 2004, he was driven out of the company's financiers, Sequoia Capital and Ram Shriram. It is said that he made an exit by allegedly hiring private investigators to follow him.

Sean Parker - Co-founder of Brigade Media

Brigade Logo
Brigade Logo

Sean announced his new startup Brigade in April 2014. The platform was made with an aim of civic management, to counter a lack of political engagement and interest in all levels of government across America. He serves as the Chairman of the Brigade with an initial round of personal funding of $9.3 million. Brigade acquired an online platform for social impact and political activism, Causes in 2014.


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Sean Parker - Philanthropist

Sean is an active Philanthropist and has assiduously donated to cancer research, global public health and civic engagement. He even pledged $24 million to create the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford. He made a $10 million grant to create the Sean N. Parker Autoimmune Research Laboratory at UCSF.

He established Parker Foundation and declared in June 2015 to contribute $600 million to launch the organization with an aim to approach large-scale challenges, including, insight, capital, science and technology, organization building and public policy.

He further donated $250 million to establish Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. He serves as the Board member of Obama Foundation, Global Citizen, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Parker Foundation and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.


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Sean Parker - Conclusion

Sean Parker is recognized as a genius and credits his college education in the establishment of Napster, through which he eventually became competent in intellectual property law, corporate finance, and entrepreneurship. He further co-founded ventures like Plaxo, Airtime, Brigade, and Causes. He was the first investor at Facebook and became its president after five years of its establishment.

Sean Parker - FAQs

Who is Sean Parker?

Sean Parker is an American entrepreneur who is known for co-founding Napster, a file-sharing computer service.

Which companies has Sean Parker founded?

Sean Parker also co-founded an online address book - Plaxo, an online campaigning platform - Causes, a group video chat app - Airtime.com, and a civic technology platform - Brigade Media.

What was Sean Parker's role on Facebook?

He was the first president of Facebook. Sean Parker's fortune stems from his brief tenure, at age 24, as Facebook's president.

Is Sean Parker still part of Facebook?

After his brief stint as Facebook's president, he returned to the music industry, investing early in Spotify and serving on its board until 2017. Parker began tinkering with a social network focused on politics in 2015 and has mainly focused his work on the political arena in the last few years.

Where is Sean Parker now?

Parker is now a venture capital investor and philanthropist. Parker's interest in music led him to invest in Spotify in 2010. He left the Board of Directors in June 2017.

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