A 4.8% rally in Tesla shares on Thursday beat Musk ahead of Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Elon Musk, the outspoken entrepreneur behind Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, is now the richest person on the planet.
A 4.8% rally in the electric carmaker’s share price Thursday propelled Musk past Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the 500 most rich in the world.
The South African-born engineer net worth was $ 188.5 billion as of 10:15 a.m. in New York City, $ 1.5 billion more than Bezos, who has been in the top spot since October 2017. As CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, Musk is also a rival to Bezos, owner of Blue Origin LLC, in the race for private space.
The milestone caps an extraordinary 12 months for Musk. Over the past year, his net worth has soared to over $ 150 billion, possibly the fastest growing wealth in history. Its rise was fueled by an unprecedented rally in Tesla’s stock price, which jumped 743% last year on consistent earnings, inclusion in the S&P 500 and enthusiasm Wall Street and retail investors.
The rise in Tesla’s share price further inflates a valuation light years away from other automakers on many parameters. 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 to make further near-term gains as Democrats won both Georgia Senate seats and transferred control of Congress. to the party which advocates a faster adoption of electric vehicles.
Musk, 49, benefited from Tesla’s stratospheric rise in more than one way. In addition to his 20% stake in the automaker, he sits on about $ 42 billion in unrealized gains on paper on vested stock options. These titles come from two grants he received in 2012 and 2018, the latter being the largest salary transaction ever between a CEO and a board of directors.
Despite his astronomical gains, Musk said he has little interest in material things and has few assets outside of his stakes in Tesla and SpaceX. He told Axel Springer in an interview last month that the main purpose of his wealth is to accelerate humanity’s evolution towards a space civilization.
“I want to be able to contribute as much as possible to the city on Mars,” Musk said. “It just means a lot of capital.”
The richest 500 people in the world added a record $ 1.8 trillion to their combined net worth last year, which equates to a 31% increase. The gains were disproportionate at the top, where five people hold fortunes of over $ 100 billion and another 20 are worth at least $ 50 billion.
Less than a week after the start of the new year, the standings have already been shaken up by some extraordinary rallies. China’s Zhong Shanshan passed Warren Buffett to claim sixth place after shares of his bottled water company surged, adding $ 15.2 billion to his fortune.
(Updates net worth in third paragraph.)
– With the help of Anders Melin and Tom Maloney.