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12 crazy activities these CEOs do in their spare time

Elephant-hunting? Jousting? Ukelele-twiddling? Maybe the stress is getting to them…

Warren Buffett regales a crowd in Omaha, Nebraska with his ukelele skills.
Warren Buffett regales a crowd in Omaha, Nebraska with his ukelele skills.
Image: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

HAVING A HIGH-STRESS job can definitely take a toll on someone’s mind and body. Especially if you’re running an entire company.

Most CEOs get up early and they’re passionate about their jobs so it makes sense that they need a stress-reliever to completely free them of all work-related worries.

And that’s where hobbies become the solution. These extra-curricular activities range from killing elephants to space travel, but all of them are thrill-seeking and, often, dangerous.

12 crazy activities these CEOs do in their spare time
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  • Bob Parson hunts for 'problem' elephants

    Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons couldn't have shocked the public more after he posted a graphic video of himself killing an elephant in Zimbabwe. The documented hunt was supposedly conducted to target three elephants that were causing problems for farmers in the area. The video depicted someone shooting the animal in the dark before local villagers scramble to divide the carcass for food. Parsons called the slain animal a "problem elephant." He was named "Scummiest CEO of the Year" by PETA. (Pic: AP Photo/Chamila Karunarathne)
  • Mark Zuckerberg only eats what he kills

    On May 4, Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page caused a little stir with the status: “I just killed a pig and a goat.” The kill was a part of Zuckerberg's latest sustainable living project in which he only eats meat that he kills himself, the Facebook founder and CEO told Fortune Magazine. Zuckerberg's first prey was reportedly a lobster which he claims was an "emotional" kill. To advise Zuckerberg on his new way of living, he has been seeking advice from Silicon Valley chef Jesse Cool who was present when he first killed a chicken, pig and goat. "He cut the throat of the goat with a knife, which is the most kind way to do it," Cool said. (Pic: AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
  • William Barron Hilton flies around in every kind of plane

    William Barron Hilton, co-chairman of Hilton Hotels and, perhaps more famously, Paris Hilton's father, is nuts about flying. He has a 750,000-acre ranch in Nevada for all his aviation thrills. He flies gliders, helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and even balloons out there. Hilton told Forbes his love of flying was piqued in the Navy, and he later earned his pilot's license in Oahu. He holds an annual flying competition where the winner gets to come check out the Flying-M ranch. (Pic: Martin Rickett/PA Wire)
  • Sandy Lerner likes to joust

    Sandy Lerner of Cisco Systems goes all out when it comes to jousting. It is one of her favorite hobbies, and she owns everything from the lances to the period costumes. She purchased an 800-acre farm in Upperville, Virginia, where she raises dozens of Shire horses for just that purpose. (Pic: David Cheskins/PA Wire)
  • Anil Ambani runs marathons

    India's fourth-richest billionaire and chairman of Reliance ADA Group, Anil Ambani often runs the streets of Mumbai before dawn with his bodyguards. He first trained for the Boston Marathon in 2003 after someone questioned his weight at an investor's conference in New York. Now he's a serial marathon runner. (Pic: Vishhh via flickr)
  • William Clay Ford Jr is a black belt

    William C. Ford Jr., the executive chairman of Ford Motor and great-grandson of Henry Ford, can be seen in his car commercials with a pretty gentle and genial demeanor. But don't get on his bad side: the guy is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He can break boards with his bare hands. (Pic: AP Photo/Edgard Garrido)
  • Warren Buffett plays a mean ukelele

    Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett plays the ukelele at the Fruit of the Loom stand at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska. He has given instruments and lessons to children's clubs and auctioned one of his ukeleles for charity for $11k. (Pic: AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Guy Laliberté holidays in space

    Canadian Guy Laliberté, creator current CEO of Cirque du Soleil, has made his name creating the world's best circus and playing poker. But when it comes to his passion, Laliberté decided space was the place. He was the first Canadian space tourist, a private explorer with the mission of bringing awareness to water issues on planet Earth. He went up in space in September 2009, broadcasting a 2-hour programme to cities around the world. (Pic: ChinaFotoPress/AP Wire)
  • Richard Branson breaks extreme world records

    Richard Branson of Virgin Group likes to travel in the most extreme ways - the kind that breaks world records. He has made various attempts at different records, including circling the globe non-stop in a hot-air balloon (he failed). Some of his successful attempts include crossing the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle (1 hour 40 minutes) and becoming the first person to cross the same channel in a hot air balloon a year later. (Pic: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire)
  • Larry Ellison races enormous yachts

    Lawrence "Larry" Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation, has been married and divorced four times, but we wouldn't call marriage (and divorce) his hobby. Instead, Ellison is fierce about yachting — specifically, racing said yachts. Ellison first learned about sailing in the 1960s at the University of California. Since then, he has owned one of the world's biggest yachts and competed in multiple world-class races, including the Maxi World Championships (which he won five times) and the America's Cup, which he competes in to this day (as pictured). (Pic: Chris Ison/PA Wire)
  • Jeff Taylor waterskis behind a blimp

    Monster.com's Jeff Taylor has the distinction of being called one of the world's most eccentric CEOs. Maybe its because he loves one-upping fellow eccentric billionaire Richard Branson. He's the five-time world-record holder for the longest distance water skiing behind a blimp. Taylor smashed the record previously held by Branson, riding for 3.3 miles on water skis behind the Monster.com blimp. (Pic note: This is not Jeff Taylor. Image from 1970/AP Archive)
  • Mike Zafirovski runs the Ironman triathlon

    Former Motorola CEO Mike Zafirovski is always looking to prove his mettle. He took on a CEO challenge to do so: he completed an Ironman triathlon (2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike, and a marathon run) with a time time of 13 hours and 37 minutes. The very next day, he started at Motorola. (Pic: Wikimedia)

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