Mr. Beast Wants to Take Over the Business World

Jimmy Donaldson, 22, is out to become the Elon Musk of online creators.

Jimmy Donaldson, 22, a YouTube megastar better known as Mr. Beast, operates six YouTube channels with names like MrBeast,MrBeast Shorts and Beast Reacts that together have 91 million subscribers. People have viewed his videos more than 13 billion times. And last year as the pandemic raged, he became the most-subscribed YouTube creator in the country.

But unlike other YouTubers who have been satisfied with social media success, Mr. Donaldson wants more.

“I really want to be Elon one day,” he wrote last year on Twitter, referring to Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX and one of the world’s richest people. Mr. Donaldson later listed Mr. Musk as his “dream collaborator.”

Mr. Beast has successfully built a massive cult of personality and huge fan base of many extremely young children. He is the most followed YouTuber in the US and wants to take over the business world, but things have been rocky.

I spoke to 11 former Mr. Beast employees and business associates. Many said the working conditions at his companies was “toxic” and it was far from the positive image depicted on screen.

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