- Billionaire Stewart Butterfield and millionaireJen Rubio are Silicon Valley’s newest “it” couple.
- Rubio and Butterfield are both cofounders of successful startups. Rubio founded Away luggage in 2015; Butterfieldlaunched Flickr in 2004 and Slack in 2009.
- Butterfield — whose company went public this week —previously proposed to Rubio as a joke on Twitter, which confused employees from both companies.
- Now, as of May 27, the couple has made their engagement official. Here’s what we know about their relationship.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Stewart Butterfield and Jennifer Rubio are Silicon Valley’s newest “it” power couple.
Rubio and Butterfield, worth$130 million and $1.3 billion respectively, are both cofounders of wildly successful companies. Rubio’s Away luggage brand recentlyearned a $1.4 billion valuation just three years after it was founded, while Butterfield’s Slackwent public this week.
Read more: Here’s who’s getting rich now that Slack is a public company worth over $20 billion
On June 2, Butterfieldconfirmed in an Instagram post that he had officially proposed. Rubio posted similar photos a few days earlier,on May 27. The news comes just weeks afterButterfield jokingly proposed to Rubio on Twitter. Aside from this stunt — which sparked confusion from coworkers and the broader Silicon Valley network alike on social media — their relationship has remained largely under the radar.
Keep reading for a look at Silicon Valley’s newest engaged power couple.
Stewart Butterfield is the cofounder of Slack and Flickr.
The 46-year-old billionaire was bornin a small British Columbia fishing village. His net worth is now estimated to beover $1.3 billion.
Jen Rubio is the cofounder of the Away luggage brand.
The millionaire executiveturned 30 last year; her net worthis estimated to be $130 million.
Together, the couple is one of the defining “it” couples of Silicon Valley.
They’re power players in their own right, both running billion-dollar businesses.
Butterfield, who is 16 years Rubio’s senior, continues to make headlines after his company,Slack, went public on June 20. Despite running high-profile companies, much of their relationship has been under the radar.
Butterfield is a self-taught coder who studied philosophy in college.
He holds a bachelors degreefrom the University of Victoria and masters degree from the University of Cambridge. Both degrees arein philosophy.
Before founding Flickr, Butterfield started an online gaming company with his Flickr cofounder and then-wife, Caterina Fake; they were marriedfrom 2001 to 2008. The pair — along with Butterfield’s friend Jason Classon — originally started an online multiplayer gaming companycalled Ludicorp.
After the startup failed to raise the money needed, the couple founded the photosharing platform Flickr. The company later sold to Yahoofor $20 million in 2015. Butterfield and Fake joined Yahoo in the acquisition — Butterfield worked there for three years.
The couple separated in 2008 and hasone 12-year-old daughter together.
Butterfield currently serves as Slack’s CEO, while his cofounder Cal Henderson is the company’s chief technology officer. The company went public this week.
Business Insider’sJulie Bort reported that the pair stands to make millions, if not billions, off their stakes in the company. Butterfield’s stake is worth over $1.7 billion, while Henderson’s is worth over $672 million.
Rubio attended business school at Penn State University.
After working at Johnson & Johnson through Penn State’s co-op program, Rubio decided to pursue a full-time job offerbefore completing her last few credits. The professional experience led to positions at Warby Parker and All Saints in London, where she worked asthe head of innovation.
Both Rubio and her Away cofounder Steph Korey work at the company full-time.
The pair met working at Warby Parker and started Awayin 2015 after Rubio wasforced to buy a new suitcase in an airport. Today, the brandis worth over $1.4 billion.
Rubio has stated shetravels over 200,000 miles a year.
When asked about her morning routine in aMarch 2019 interview with Marie Claire, Rubio said, “Whatever my first thing of the day is, I make sure to wake up three hours before that to workout, read, meditate, catch up on emails, or chat with my boyfriend, since usually we’re not in the same place.”
She did not, however, specify that the boyfriend is Butterfield.
While Butterfield and Rubio’s respective Instagram feeds feature some photos of them together, not much is publicly known about their relationship.
In January, Rubio shared a photo of the two of them together, captioning the photo, “more keys to lose.”
And on March 21, Rubio wished Butterfield a happy birthday by posting a photo of him smiling happily with two ice cream cones in Rome.
On May 14, following news of Away’s $1.4 billion valuation, Butterfield proposed to Rubio over Twitter in what later turned out to be high-profile joke.
Rubio retweeted aWall Street Journal article reporting the news of the valuation, along with the question: “Let’s make today a double-whammy — Jennifer, will you marry me? Promise I’m not just a golddigger.”
The tweet confused employees of both companies, eventually causing Rubio to clarify that Butterfield was joking.
“It was just a joke,”Rubio told Forbes about the proposal the next day. “… He’s very supportive and has a weird sense of humor.”
However, on June 2 — less than three weeks after the joke Twitter proposal — Butterfield announced on Instagram that he had officially asked Rubio to marry him.
The slideshow he posted included ten photos of the couple and ended “with one taken just a few minutes” after Butterfield proposed.
Rubio, for her part, confirmed the news on her own Instagram account, posting photos of the two newly engaged executives.
The photos, posted three weeks ago, showed Rubio wearing an engagement ring.
According to The New York Times, the proposal took place over Memorial Day while the couple was hiking in Tofino, British Columbia.
“Ms. Rubio said she momentarily wondered if he was only proposing because of Twitter, asking, ‘Are you serious?'”reported The Times.
No immediate wedding plans have been announced.
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