Project Description

Founder:   Jim Jannard
Attended:   late 1960’s
Company:   Oakley
Year Founded:   1975
Valuation: $2B (2007)

Jim Jannard, who began his collegiate career at USC but never finished, started Oakley as a motorcycle parts distributor out of his garage in 1975, eventually making the unorthodox transition to eyewear five years later. Once he did begin selling all varieties of goggles and sunglasses, though, he built his business into a $230 million public company in 1995 before selling off his shares—all $2 billion worth—in 2007.