The maverick businessman the world has ever seen! Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX has overtaken Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person, after shares in the electric car company he co-founded soared on hopes that a Democrat-controlled US Senate would usher in a new green agenda. It is less than two months since Musk, who helped found Tesla just 17 years ago, surpassed Microsoft founder Bill Gates to become the world’s second richest person. And now he procures the prime position and it isn’t a miracle!
According to the Bloomberg billionaires index, a 4.8% rise in Tesla’s share price was enough to push Musk into the top spot which tracks the daily changes in the fortunes of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.
Mr. Musk’s net worth was $188.5 billion at 10:15 a.m. in New York on Thursday, $1.5 billion more than that of Mr. Bezos. Mr. Musk’s wealth has increased by more than $150 billion over the past 12 months, thanks to a rally in Tesla’s share price, which surged 743 percent in 2020. The carmaker’s shares were up as much as 6.5 percent on Thursday.
“How strange,” Mr. Musk said on Twitter. “Well, back to work,” he added.
Mr. Musk, a South African-born entrepreneur, would not have been able to edge out Mr. Bezos — who has held the title of the richest person in the world since Oct. 2017 — were it not for Mr. Bezos’ philanthropy, including his donation of $680 million worth of Amazon shares in November, as well as his divorce, which caused him to relinquish about 25 percent of his stock in the e-commerce giant to MacKenzie Scott, his ex-wife.
“How strange,” says Musk!
But the rally in Tesla’s stock price was also propelled by the company’s success last year. Tesla delivered nearly 500,000 cars in 2020 as sales rose 36 percent from the year before. The company reported profits in the last four quarters, and its stock was added to the S&P 500 index.
Of late, with the sale of half a million cars, a scale more than expected, he had hit a huge milestone with Tesla. This might have been one primary reason that made him to climb the ladder of success in such a massive manner to acquire the title ‘the richest man in the world’.
Analyzing the statistical data of Tesla alone, its share price has risen by more than sevenfold this year as demand for electric cars soared and government’s announced further measures to wean the world off internal combustion engines.
The market value of Tesla, which recently joined the S&P 500 index of the US’s biggest companies, exceeded $700bn (£516bn) for the first time this week. That makes the company worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, GM and Ford combined.
Musk, who owns 20% of Tesla’s shares, was the 35th richest person in the world at the start of 2020. He also owns the rocketship company SpaceX, which is transporting astronauts to the International Space Station in a deal with Nasa.
On this momentous occasion, Musk said that he intended to use half of his fortune to “help problems on Earth” and “half to help establish a self-sustaining city on Mars to ensure continuation of life (of all species) in case Earth gets hit by a meteor like the dinosaurs or WW3 happens & we destroy ourselves”.