Elon Musk, The Outspoken Enterpreneur Bhind Tesla Inc and SpaceX, is Now the Rechest Person on The Planet, has overtaken Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person, with a net worth of more than $188 billion, $1.5 billion more than Bezos.
The South African-born Musk, 49, added over $3 billion in wealth on Thursday following Tesla’s latest surge. The outspoken Musk, who is also co-founder of SpaceX, had already overtaken numerous luminaries in recent weeks, including Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Bernard Arnault, the head of French luxury giant LVMH.
Mr Musk reacted to the news in signature style, replying to a Twitter user sharing the news with the remark “how strange”.
The milestone caps an extraordinary 12 months for Musk. Over the past year his net worth soared by more than $150 billion in possibly the fastest bout of wealth creation in history. Fueling his rise was an unprecedented rally in Tesla’s share price, which surged 743% last year on the back of consistent profits, inclusion in the S&P 500 Index and enthusiasm from Wall Street and retail investors alike.
The jump in Tesla’s stock price further inflates a valuation light-years apart from other automakers on numerous metrics. Tesla produced just over half-a-million cars last year, a fraction of the output of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. The company is poised for further near-term gains as Democrats captured both Georgia Senate seats and handed control of Congress to the party that’s advocated for quicker adoption of electric vehicles.
Musk, 49, has benefited from Tesla’s stratospheric rise in more than one way. In addition to his 20% stake in the automaker, he’s sitting on about $42 billion of unrealized paper gains on vested stock options. Those securities come from two grants he received in 2012 and 2018, the latter of which was the largest pay deal ever struck between a CEO and a corporate board.