Xavier Niel (born 25 August 1967) is a French entrepreneur and businessman, active in the telecommunications and technology industry and best known as founder and majority shareholder of the French Internet service provider and Mobile operator Iliad trading under the Free brand (France’s second-largest ISP, and third mobile operator). He is also co-owner of the newspaper Le Monde, and co-owner of the rights of the song "My Way" and owner of Monaco Telecom. He currently acts as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors & Chief Strategy Officer for Iliad.
His net worth is about $10 billion USD.
Niel started early by developing telecommunication and data services. He embarked at a young age on an entrepreneurial career. At 19, he successfully created then sold his first company, a Minitel (a French forerunner of the internet) service company. This minitel-site provided sex oriented chat services. In 1995, he invested in the first Internet Service Provider in France, World-NET, created the previous year by Sébastien Socchard, Philippe Langlois and Pierre Seguret. This company was sold the year before the internet bubble burst...
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