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  • Age
    39
  • Title
    Chief operating officer and cofounder
  • Company
    TAL Education Group

Some people say living large on a teacher’s salary ain’t easy. Not so for Liu Yachao. He joined TAL Education Group, a Beijing-based tutoring service founded in 2003, as its first math teacher. In 2005, he became the company’s director for middle schooling. He continued rising through the ranks as the head of TAL’s research arm, teacher training, and network operations, until eventually being named the company’s chief operating officer. Along the way, TAL, which stands for “tomorrow advancing life,” became one of the biggest education services of its kind in China, a country known as a pressure cooker for students seeking to achieve elite levels of scholarship. Thanks to a 4.7% stake in TAL, Yachao’s career paid off. He became a billionaire in 2018 and now claims a net worth of $2 billion, per Forbes’s rich list.

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